Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And Half of His Steak Was Leftover

"I got my haircut," a blogger wrote recently.

That makes sense in a way, of course. He got a haircut, and that haircut was his -- but what he really meant was "I got my hair cut." When you get your hair cut, it's a haircut.

Anyone have another example of this kind of error? Better yet, a relevant term for the phenomenon?

14 comments:

MuPu said...

misjunctograph

Luise in Cambridge said...

Everyday and every day are misused constantly, I've noticed.

Linda said...

Hey, Luise! I know you!

"Work out" is another victim. "I was going to workout tonight, but it's raining and I can't even face it."

In fact, I saw an ad for a local gym calling it "the gym that makes working-out workout." Gah.

I have no name for it, though.

Bill said...

Don't you hate it when people workout in their barefeet, everyday?

Linda said...

At least "haircut" and "hair cut" are pronounced with almost the same emphasis. You do say, "I got my HAIR[micropause]cut."

But no one says "I try to WORKout EVeryday." So I don't get why they can't see the difference.

I blame dictionaries, for closing up "backyard" as a noun, even though no one says "Let's go out in the BACKyard."

Bill said...

Still looking for an example that technically does work both ways, like "getting my haircut."

Elaine said...

The one I thought of immediately was pickup/pick up(/pick-up).

An example where it works both ways:

I went to the Ford dealership yesterday for a pickup.

Robyn said...

People tend to use the "login" bar as the place to enter your "login" when what they really want you to do is "log in."

The Pedantic Prick said...

I knew a charming Australian man who, when asked "Did you get a haircut?" would respond, "No, I got them ALL cut!", as if he heard "a hair cut".

Ellie said...

Ughh! "Everyday." That reminds me of the - I'm still feeling his pain.

MuPu said...

Dasani isn't the only product with an inferiority complex (see the link in Ellie's post, above). "Everyday with Special K" appears on the back of a box of granola bars that I bought today.

Karen said...

"Everyday with Special K" sorta kinda works, if what Kellogg's is trying to (clumsily) convey is along the lines of "Good nutrition is everyday with Special K."

I now revert to my normal cynicism, and suspect Kellogg's simply doesn't know how to use the word.

Nicole said...

Kinda macabre concept, but:
They watched her breakup.

sf.flyboy said...

I can't believe no one came up with my pet peeve: "setup".

"Be sure to setup the software after you install it."