Tag Archive for: word choice

Grammar Grappler #18: Are you running the gauntlet or running the gamut?

This confusing phrase pair was not even on my RADAR until a reader brought it up. And, when I found out what running the gauntlet really means, I was appalled. I definitely won’t be using that expression again.  Read more

Grammar Grappler #13: Windshield Wipers

During a recent lunch with a couple of speaking colleagues, I asked them about funny words and expressions they hear mispronounced. One of my friends admitted she had called “windshield wipers” something else for many years. She had been calling them “windshield swipers” until someone pulled her aside and politely pointed out the error of her ways. Read more

Grammar Grappler #10: Don’t Get Flustrated with this Post

One of my speaking colleagues and I were having lunch with a new friend yesterday, and my new friend mentioned seeing the blog on “for all intents and purposes.” The conversation quickly turned to other mispronounced expressions, and we had quite a list going. This week’s word is perhaps one of my favorites because I had forgotten about it. It’s when people say “flustrated” instead of “frustrated.” Read more

Grammar Grappler #10: Chester Drawers

This weeks’ blog spot is short and sweet.

How do you pronounce this piece of furniture?





Answer: chest of drawers


As a child, I called it a “chester drawers.” Fortunately, someone kindly corrected me before I entered college.

However, I am not alone. So many people to this day say “chester drawers,” even as adults. Someone close to me (and older than I) called it a “chester drawers” last week. Even a furniture store rep pronounced it that way not too long ago. I used to believe it was a Southern tendency, but I have discovered in my travels that other regions of the country go furniture shopping for a bed, night stand, dresser—and “chester drawers.”

Which other mispronunciations come to mind from childhood?


Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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Grammar Grappler #9: Just Deserts vs. Just Desserts

Nooooooooo. I can’t believe I have been using this wrong expression my entire life. Surely I’m not alone on this one. How would you fill in the blank in this sentence? Read more

Grammar Grappler 1: Compose/Comprise

Last week we announced a new blog series we’re calling Grammar Grapplers. A grappler is a tool consisting of several hooks for grasping and holding. The first commonly confused word pair we’re providing a hook for grasping is the difference between compose and comprise. Read more

A Blooper in the Society Pages: “Couple”

In recent weeks, several readers have brought up one of my most cringe-worthy grammar peeves: using the incorrect subject-verb agreement with couple. Read more

Wacky Word of the Week: Purge this Particular Word

Thanks to all of you who have been commenting and adding to our wacky-word conversation these past few months. Please continue to post your questions and share your examples. This week’s wacky-word winner is particular. Read more