Sunday 23 February 2014

Howlers 10

Estate Agent speak
Construed in the 60s, a flay within waling distance of the fashionable immunities of Church Street, converted in this vicarage, in a quite residential neighbourhood, comprimises of carpet flooring, everything is separated from a central hallway, leaving room contains kitchen. Live in harmony with your environment in the shape of a long rear garden, we are delighted to offer to the market this two bedroom split level marionette. Double glaze windoe to rear, plummed for washing machine, communial car park area to front of the property, recently renovated within the last three months, carpeated throughout.

Say it in American
chalked full for chock full: chalked full of unnatural chemicals (Web)
Guy Fox day: Guy Faukes day
bombfire night: bonfire night
I took it for granite: granted
feeble for foetal: He curled up in the feeble position.
trickle treating: trick or treating

cognitive dissonance for contradiction (People rationalise away contradictions to avoid cognitive dissonance.)

collard doves for collar doves: You’re thinking of collard greens.

colonial: confusing with feudal or imperial? (Britain rules the waves, influential country, setting up more embassies in foreign blah blah we are the world police etc ‏@Sharpzilla)

descent for dissent: There has been a continuous murmuring of descent. (Dissent means disagreement.)

dinaphorous for diaphanous

edged for etched: Fear was edged on the cat’s face.

eschews for exemplifies: “Hayley [Mills] is very impressive, with that wide eyed wonder look she eschews…” (imdb) (Eschews means avoids.)

faith for fate: He suffered a similar faith.

foreboding for forbidding: “The forecast is foreboding” BBC 2014-02-13 (Forecasts are always foreboding. That’s what forecasts do.)

gambit for remit: “That’s not within your gambit.” Dragon’s Den

larva for lava: “the larva that buried Pompeii” (Times)

lip-singing for lip-synching (It’s short for “synchronising”.)

marred for mired: The Turin Shroud is forever marred in controversy. (Cable TV caption) (For ever? How do you know?)

Niandathol Man for Neanderthal man

obeisance for obedience: “The infallible, all-knowing, all-seeing leader, expecting absolute obeisance…” Skeptic, January 2014 (Obeisance means genuflecting or kowtowing.)

pawn off for palm off

pin-clean for clean as a new pin (You’re thinking of “pin-sharp”.)

plain for plane: operate on a high artistic plain

planet for plane: “When he moved on from this earthly planet…” (Flog It! 2013) (It's from a spiritualist idea of planes of existence.)

prize of place for pride of place: Make sure they're prize of place!

quixotic for paradoxical: “To castigate a man, on the one hand, for his use of sexist language and then to turn on him for lack of chivalry may seem quixotic.” (Angela Carter)

site for sight: in plain site

The press has made us a laughing stalk. (More easily confused in the US.)

toe-path for tow-path: High tide at Richmond, toe-path impassible in places. (The horse walked along it while towing the barge in the days before they had engines.)

travesty for tragedy

unerring for eerie or unsettling: “You’ve all probably seen that slightly unerring sight…” (World’s Weirdest Weather)

vigorous for rigorous: Such woodland would still have to go through a "vigorous planning process". DOE spokesbod quoted by the BBC Jan 2014

More here, and links to the rest.


  1. Damp squid for damp squib, but I like that, I think it's endearing. I think 'to the manor born' is wrong, should be 'to the manner born' , but that's a losing battle. Many Americans convinced it is 'manor' - because they think it is Brit and that's how we operate. Whereas manor isn't really that posh, it's just a bigger house, nothing fancy, to express that idea you would want to say 'to the palace born'. In the last week I saw dearth used wrongly - a dearth of something at fashion week, when context made clear that they meant the item was all over the place - did they mean plethora, surfeit, surplus? I have some sympathy though -I'm a dreary knowall by most standards, but I have to think hard as to whether zenith is good or bad - it always sounds like it should be a lowpoint, and I've probably used it wrongly. And there are others...

  2. PS the picture of the house is lovely, would put up with estate agent rubbish to get it!

  3. I confuse ancestors and descendants. Be so much easier if we all spoke fluent Latin! What's that in Anglo Saxon? Forebears and offspring?