Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Two Daily Expressions

Continuing from last month, here are two more phrases that people use—but don’t actually mean—when communicating in writing or speech.

1. Peaked my interest.
One would think that this idiom is correct because the word “peaked” is correctly spelled, and everything sounds just right. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives its meaning:
        Peaked: “being pale and wan or emaciated” or “having a point or prominent end”
Usually the message that’s being communicated is that one’s interest was awakened, provoked, or aroused. That would be the definition of “piqued.”
Correct use: piqued my interest
2. First-come, first-serve.
This idiom is frequently used in situations involving waiting in lines or being helped by those involved in customer service. For example, people who arrive first at the ticket booth are usually served first. It’s a handy statement to show who has priority in all sorts of daily situations.
It would be correct as spelled if your intent was for those who arrived first to be the first to serve others.
Correct use in most situations: first-come, first-served

Randall Ponder, Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA        www.editing-expert.com