I recently got voicemail spam in which caller asked to “speak to the head of household, if they’re available.” I was surprised to hear the phrase “head of household”—I think I haven’t encountered that phrase in years, outside of a tax context. (The IRS uses the phrase to refer to an unmarried person who maintains […]
Archive for Phrases
I like the phrase “I know, right?”, but I somehow almost never encounter a situation in which it seems like it would make sense for me to use it. But I think that may partly be due to my not noticing such opportunities when they occur. For example, I just came across a Facebook exchange […]
A metaphor I was amused by: “The $64,000 question is: How do we put socks on this octopus?” —Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, in a telephone town hall this evening. (A quick web search suggests that the socks/octopus thing is a relatively common phrase, but I hadn’t heard it before.)
I recently came across the phrase somehow or rather. I initially assumed that it was a typo for somehow or other, but I got curious and did a web search and found that lots of people have used the phrase online. I assume that it’s an eggcorn, but if so, it seems to be a […]
There's also medium-haul, but I didn't bother with it.
Another garden path sentence, this one from a TechCrunch headline: Did unicorns like Lyft and Uber wait too long? I misread the first several words of that as asking about how unicorns feel about ridesharing companies.
It’s not only unique. It’s not only very unique. It’s not only the most unique. It’s the most unique ever. “Palo Alto Pizza Co. offers the Bay Area’s most unique gourmet pizza experience ever.”
The black pudding were so black that even over-egging yon just made 'er blacker, it did.
“Overhead he heard the tiny, unlubricated sound of a bat.” —Theodore Sturgeon, “Excalibur and the Atom,” 1951. Reading these old Sturgeon stories is reminding me that prose can unashamedly use...
Recently happened across a snowclone that I hadn't really noticed before: phrases of the form “an X grows in Brooklyn,” riffing on the title A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Headline...