"Mute point" and other phrases we've been saying wrong our entire lives.

I’m a writer, which means when it comes to anything literary, I’m always right.

(OK, fine. That’s actually not strictly true.)

What this means is I am very rarely shocked by my own errors in the English language. But when I am? It’s the necessary pop to my ego bubble I often need. It’s refreshing. Humbling. Hilarious.

Like, here’s a good one: when I decide to nip things in the butt.

Nip it. In the butt. The butt? Nope: the bud. I should really avoid nipping people on their bottom, and aim for snipping the intersection of an undeveloped flower and its stalk instead.

And don’t ever get me started about knocking over my errands in one foul swoop. That’s never appropriate.


Even Hollywood heavyweights are not immune to the odd slip up. I was in hysterics recently watching poor Patrick Dempsey being schooled by Today‘s salty dog Richard Wilkins on the, er, corRECT use of the term, ‘traveller’.

“What’s a traveller?” yelled Patrick Dempsey, clearly amused at his blushing hosts.

Leaning over, Wilkins had a word. “Pipe down, McDreamy,” we can only assume he whispered. “You’re yelping about getting a Bus Boner on live TV. It’s more than our fluttering hearts can take right now.”

Meanwhile, did YOU know that a traveller was an erection obtained on public transport? No? Me neither.

Asking around the office of fellow Always Right Writers, some absolute corkers have emerged of not-quite-right sayings they’ve recently been alerted to.

One lovely lady thought “How’s your father?” meant that someone or something was a bit rough around the edges. Erm, no. To ask ‘How’s your father?’ is referring to doing the deed. (Sex. It means sex.)

Words you don’t know how to pronounce. (Post continues after video)


Another one that got a chuckle was declaring something a ‘mute point’. Which, as it turns out, is ‘moot’ point. Ten points for getting it phonetically correct.

Our entertainment writer? Not quite sure if she’s going to ‘play it by ear’ or ‘play it by year’ so she’s resolved to “avoid saying it… ever.”


It was a grim forecast for another Mamamia writer who confuses ‘increment weather’ and ‘inclement weather’. *Still have no idea what this means but am nodding and smiling regardless*

But my favourite of was a surprise that came from one very eloquent young writer:

“Up until like 15 I thought ‘ponytail’ meant ‘hair elastic’, so I’d ask to borrow a pony tail. And NO ONE ever told me and I looked like an idiot.”

Don’t worry girlfriend – I guess all we can garner from this is that all writers are idiots.

And for this writer in particular, who was convinced until just a year ago that veal came from a sheep, ‘hunger pangs’ were ‘hunger pains’, and those blisters on your lip were pronounced cole-sores; I’m happy to admit we’ve all got a lot to learn.

Happy to be your escape goat.

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