Friday 30 November 2018

Grammar: Howlers 16

These howlers were all spotted in the wild.

We’ve got a written constitution – it’s called the Magma Carta!
artesian bakery
(Artisan – you’re thinking of an artesian well.)
That'll be just beachy! (Peachy.)
The Big Bag is a fairytale! (Big Bang)

This dealt the death knoll to the project. (Tolled or rung the death knell, dealt the death blow.)
We must addressing the route cause. (Root.)
To this day, I’ve never stepped foot back in the building. (Stepped, or “set foot”.)
It’s chalk-full of info! (Read it in an American accent.)

I’m anti-Zionist not anti-Semantic! (At least they’ve stopped saying anti-Semetic.)
He was fuming at the mouth with anger. (Foaming at the mouth with rage, or fuming with anger.)
But all and all, at the end of the day... (All in all.)

The Emperor was surrounded by psychophantic courtiers. (Sycophantic.)
Bring back hanging – we shouldn't have given up corporal punishment. (Capital punishment.)
We went through a ridiculous façade to get our passports back. (Charade.)

The will was complicated, with many benefactors. (Beneficiaries.)
We had a lovely time in Spain – we went to Seville and visited the Alcatraz. (Alcazar.)

It’s a doggy dog world. (Dog eat dog.)
Whatever floats your goat! (Boat.)
Hair-brained seems to have taken over from hare-brained. (Hares are supposed to be mad.)
Just because Krugman and his elk keep praising the virtues of Obamacare doesn't make it true. (That's "and his ilk" and it means "and his kind".)

It fell on death ears. (Deaf ears.)
beautiful gold-ringed hair (Ringleted.)
mentally efficient (Deficient.)
It's a home for old crocs. (Crocks – old people are like chipped crockery, not carnivorous reptiles.)

His money is stashed in a tax heaven. (Haven – it means "harbour".)
We were pawned off with an inferior product. (Palmed.)
He was smartly dressed in a shirt and bowl tie. (Bow tie.)
Rest your boots on this foot stall! (Foot stool.)
Their facile expressions were a study. (Facial expressions. "Facile" means "too easy".)

Hold and corner and grid up the lions. (Both from an “English-teaching” site. Shadowy activity is "hole and corner"; to prepare for action you "gird up your loins" - or tighten your belt.)

Woah betide them! (You are wishing "woe" upon them.)
I was tolled off to do it. (Told off.)
Pan-flat bike paths (It’s pancakes that are flat.)
That greyhound looks emancipated. (It hasn't been given the vote, it's "emaciated" or thin.)

It was a dumb fool thing to say! (Damn fool.)
The prophet was just a doom-mongerer. (Doom-monger.)

She was a botanist – she married again but she’d never got divorced! (Bigamist. Botanists study plants.)

The singer was a pre-madonna. (Prima donna or "first lady".)
Let's get this project underfoot! (Under way.)
Australopithecus was a bird! (Archaeopteryx is meant – australopithecus is a human relative.)

A religion exposing subservience to a deity. (Espousing – embracing, not revealing.)
The country is run by petty baccarats. (Bureaucrats.)
Their machinations are internecine. (Byzantine.)
She feinted interest in the boring saga. (Feigned or faked.)

The team is going paintballing next week – but you don't have to join us, it's mandatory! (Optional. Mandatory means compulsory.)

Nearly every time, it invariably... (Invariably means “all the time”.)
It was her favourite past time. (Pastime - it passes the time.)
We'll get this done quickly if everyone pinches in. (Pitches in.)
She was wearing a skirt with knife pleats. (The sharply ironed pleats are "knife-edge pleats.)

It peaked my interest. (Piqued - imagine being poked by a rapier.)
Passivists are always protesting against war! (Pacifists – they fight for peace, not supinity.)
I was presently surprised. (Pleasantly.)
We'll carry on shouldering on. (Soldiering on.)

The flight was nerve-wrecking. (Nerve-wracking.)
Virtual signalling (Virtue signalling, or complaining just to show how virtuous you are.)
He had a coterie of tics and quirks. (Assemblage - a coterie is formed of people.)
He disavowed his family, leaving them nothing. (Disinherited. Perhaps he disowned them as well.)

My cat is malting! She’s leaving hairs everywhere. (Moulting.)
I was miles away at the time – and my wife can collaborate that. (Corroborate.)
He had servants at his beckon call. (Beck and call - he could gesture to beckon them, or call out.)
He was treated as an escape goat. (The Bible has "scapegoat".)

This idea fell by the waste-side. (Also the Bible - Jesus was talking about seeds that fell by the wayside, or landed at the side of the road where they wouldn't sprout.)

Listen to the cooing of the collard doves. (Collared doves. Collard is an American vegetable like spinach.)

In real life the actor was the nice man he betrayed. (Portrayed. Traitors betray their country, painters portray their sitters.)

Exorcising of dogs
 not allowed in the course area (Exercising, not casting out evil spirits – but is it Photoshop?)

Wind from the Sea by Andrew Wyeth, tempura on hardboard. (The paint is tempera, the batter is tempura - both contain eggs.)

The housewives were perfectly quaffed. (Coiffed or coiffeured. You quaff mead at a medieval banquet.)

Their actions came in for some coruscating criticism. (Wit coruscates or twinkles. Perhaps you mean "excoriating".) 

Anyone with an itch for rigour in their plots might be unable to ignore the susurrous discontent... (It’s “susurrus of discontent” – a susurrus is a whisper, it’s a noun not an adjective.)

It begs belief. (Beggars belief. Shakespeare has “beggars description”. If you beggar someone, you make them so poor that they have to beg – as in the game Beggar My Neighbour. Means something like “strains credulity to the limit”.)

She was archly conservative. (She was an “arch conservative”. It’s arch as in archangel, not as in “She riposted archly”.)

Coercive control often involves gas-lamping. (It's "gas-lighting. In the film Gaslight, the villain tried to persuade his wife she was mad by going up into the attic and turning the gas lights up and down. She’d complain that the lights suddenly went dim, and he’d go “You imagine it, my dear!” Nothing to do with street lights.)

Boy Erased is well-intentioned but saccharine-inducing. (Saccharine means over-sweet, over-sweet food is nausea-inducing.)

People are so rude these days! It's the end of civilisation! (Or maybe just the end of civility, or politeness.)

acetycholine, tumeric, cardamon, longtitude, Epson Salts (Watch the spelling: acetylcholine, turmeric, cardamom, longitude, Epsom Salts.)

Louis XIV’s mistress – Madame Pompidou! (Paul Martin on Flog It! She was Madame Pompadour. Madame Pompidou was the wife of the French Prime Minister in the 1960s.)

Queue drums! (To queue is to stand in line, to cue is to signal someone it’s their turn to speak a line in a play.)

I had done it. I was no longer a tourist, but a modern European. Mozart’s Ode to Joy played in my head as fireworks lit up the sky. (EasyJet inflight mag. Ahem, Beethoven.)

The Italian visitors were such Anglophobes that they dressed entirely in tweed. (Anglophiles. Phobes fear, philes love.)

I didn't know – at least not conscientiously. (Consciously. And conscience – awareness of guilt – doesn't mean consciousness or awareness.)

Money talks: sporting events in Britain were once the prevail of the upper classes (Caption, Daily Telegraph Aug 2018. Province?)

Mr Satterthwaite was a little dried-up pipkin of a man. (Three-Act Tragedy, Agatha Christie, American edition Christie wrote that Mr S was a “dried-up pippin” – a withered apple. A pipkin is a small cauldron. The same 1961 edition misprints “mannequin”, a girl who models clothes, as “manikin” – a very small person.)

James Stewart raises the barre considerably. (The bar that’s raised is one you have to high-jump over, not one you hold onto while doing pliés and arabesques.)

It was a Plutonic relationship. (Chris Packham. Should be “Platonic relationship”, from the Greek philosopher Plato who recommended sexless relationships. Pluto was the god of the Underworld.)

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderlay again. (I'ts "Manderly". It's also the Forsyte Saga, not Forsythe.)

Flirty baby-doll flicks and high backcombed beehives triumphed in the 1960s. (Baby-doll pyjamas were fashionable in the early 60s, made in a flimsy fabric and consisting of a puff sleeved smock and gathered knickers. “Flick-ups” on your hair were never called “baby-doll”.)

Pressed with small gophering irons. (Gophers are American rodents, ruffs were pressed with “goffering irons”. Both from Lucy Adlington, Stitches in Time)

In truck to ("I'll have no truck with that” means that you do not wish to be involved with that in any way. If you are “in hock” to a group, you are held in pawn or in hostage in return for favours.)

These places were once rich in a diversity of trees, flowers and wild animals, which rubbed alongside small human settlements eking a sparse existence. (Times, 2018 If a couple or group “rubs along”, they get on OK most of the time, by tolerating each other. It doesn’t mean “lives next to”. And those settlements were eking out a sparse existence. If you eke something out, you stretch It to go round six, perhaps by adding breadcrumbs.)

Sir Winston Churchill laid in state in Westminster Hall for three days until his funeral on 30 January (Parliament Archives – he lay.)

They gazed on the picaresque scene as the sun set over the thatched cottages. (Picturesque. Picaresque novels describe a journey with a constant change of location and characters.)

So "official identity" is rather a nefarious concept in the UK unlike many other countries. (Nebulous, or cloudy, is meant. Nefarious means wicked or illegal.)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – A tale of poverty and hardship counterposed with greed and comeuppance for the lucky few. (Caroline Lucas, Guardian  “comeuppance” means “just deserts”, or “deserved punishment”, not  “upward social mobility”.)

Branding, the pillory and the ducking stool were used to shame the perpetrators and frighten the populous. (Guardian 2017. If you mean the people, it's populace.)

Africa’s Great Green Wall is already reaping benefits. (It is producing benefits; people are reaping the benefits it has produced.)

In 2018, "lionise" is being used to mean “big up” or even “whitewash”. (“Lions” were celebs in the mid 19th century. If you “lionised” someone you boosted them and also fawned on them.)

You ever met someone who is needlessly cold or even outright rude to those who deign to engage with them? (Dare. "Deign" means "condescend".)

A woman I met had one book group she attended for the purposes of frivolity, and another for the meditated consideration of the literature du jour. (Rachel Cusk. Surely “mediated”?)

She was voicing her personal views in her inimical and jocular way. ("Inimitable” or unique. Inimical means hostile.)

Some schools have an accountant on their pay role. (It’s roll, as in roll of parchment, not role as in part in a play.)

Explore Normandy's history in Rouen with its half-timbered houses and infamous cathedral. (The cathedral is famous, not notorious.)

These mountains have borne witness to this sound for millennia. (Footage of belling stags. They have “witnessed” the sound. If they “bore witness” to it, they would be testifying that they had heard it.)

An example of that lesser-spotted sub-genre, arthouse fashion horror, Personal Shopper is unusual and unsettling. (Times Mar 2017 The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is a smaller version of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker.)

These are clear examples of pseudo-science run amok in which the proponents are both ignoring and violating a whole gauntlet of scientific laws. ( Gamut. You run the gauntlet – you run between two lines of people flicking you with leather gloves. A gamut is a musical scale.)

The taught, yet flexible line. (Taut meaning “tight” has nothing to do with teaching and being taught.)

But that realisation will come too late, after the nets have been pulled away, and they've been allowed to fall unimpinged. (Unimpeded.)

It's nearly the bewitching hour! (Witching hour – like belabouring the point for labouring the point.)

Dietrich was not merely reactionary in her reading: she was engaged in final attempts to shape the record. (New Yorker. “Reactive” is meant.)

It looks a bit niche, possibly not a vibe quite up my strata. (Not up my street. "Strasse" is the German for street, strata are geological layers.)

More here, and links to the rest.

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