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The P-T Confusion

One of the problems with English is that our alphabet has too many letters that sound like other letters, making it possible to hear incorrectly and then spell the word wrong.

There are plenty of examples out there involving letters such as m and n, c and s (or c and k depending on the sound) and p, b and d. But I don’t think I’ve ever come across mishearing p and (or t and p, if you’re into that sort of stuff).

Until now. This latest example I have found comes from the auto world. The owner of an auto body shop wrote on his blog that his shop treats all cars with the upmost care.

I didn’t think upmost was a word, so I looked it up. It’s a shortened form of the word uppermost, which means “in or into the highest or most prominent position.”

Unless this was a job that required putting a car on a lift so it can be raised to the uppermost position, the correct word is utmost, meaning “the highest, greatest or best of one’s abilities, powers, and resources.”

So, there you have it: another example of English being English.

Until next time! Use the right words!


December 1, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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