Hi, Folks! Hope your day is going well so far, you’ve been staying safe and healthy at home, and you’re now ready for another #WhyWriteWrong post. 😊
LET’S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD!
As you might imagine, I have loads of these misunderstood words and phrases at hand, because many of us do use them incorrectly now and then, including me. So I keep a list, both as fodder for this series of posts, and as a reminder to be on the alert when using any of them in my own books.
Again, these are not words that have been mistyped, but rather, words that are frequently misunderstood, and thus used incorrectly way more often than they should be. The goal of these posts is to help us all avoid such mistakes. Since I believe a humorous approach is often easier to remember, that’s my preferred method, so without further ado, here’s a misused phrase you’ve probably seen so many times, you may not even know it’s incorrect: baited breath.
Look familiar? Thought it might. But the truth is, one does not have “baited breath” unless one has been eating worms or shiners. Honest!
The correct word in this case is “bated,” as in “abated,” which describes something that has ceased happening. Like breathing. In other words, the phrase “bated breath” means someone is holding his or her breath, whereas the phrase “baited breath” implies someone has very odd dining habits. 😀
The Serious Example:
The accused murderer awaited the verdict with bated breath. (She was holding her breath).
The Silly Example:
The cat ate every shiner in the pail and ended up with baited breath. (The cat now smells fishy.)
Short and sweet this week, I know, but I hope it helps sort out the difference between bated and baited for any of you confused by the phrase. And in general, I hope all of these quick little #WhyWriteWrong “lessons” are fun and useful, as well.
Ever been confused about this phrase, yourself? Did this post help clarify things a bit? Yes? No? Sorta? As always, inquiring minds wanna know.
Thanks for visiting Story Empire today! Please stop by often to see what the rest of the gang will be talking about. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks, too, with something else up my sleeve. You’ve been warned! 😀 In the meantime, please continue to stay safe and stay well.
And now, let’s all head forth to write with happy hearts, since it’s universally known those are the very best kinds! 😀
I am not an English teacher, grammarian, or expert on all matters of this nature, but I promise I have consulted with those who are before posting anything in this series.
(All images above were created by me or obtained from Pixabay.)