One of my pet peeves about the way some people tend to use the English language is when they’ll employ some idiom or turn of phrase or whatever without giving any thought at all to what it means. The most glaring example is “I could care less”, but there are many others. Here’s one that I just saw:
The user clearly meant “in other words”.
I don’t know…I just found this one particularly hilarious, as the person had to actually invent a word that doesn’t exist in order to make sense of a very common expression with a very simple explanation.
Edit: After typing this up, I decided to Google this with the assumption that if one person is using this faux-word, others must be using it as well. Indeed, I wasn’t incorrect. In the process, I discovered this brilliant forum called the Eggcorn Forum, which seems to exclusively deal with these misheard/mispronounced/misspelled words and expressions. This has suddenly become my new favorite forum. Here is their discussion of “anotherwards”.
A few other good ones these folks have uncovered:
- “bakes the question” for “begs the question” (the latter being an expression that hardly anybody understands anyway–even people who say it correctly–so I suppose it isn’t surprising people would start inventing nonsensical variants)
- “bowl of contention” for “bone of contention” (and many, many other variants)
- “penny annie” for “penny ante”
And others. They’re all pretty amusing. While I’m quite certain that I make mistakes in my use of the English language on occasion and I’m clearly not without fault as a writer, it still gives me a good chuckle the number of people who will employ expressions–idioms, especially–with absolutely no apparent interest in what the proper forms of them actually are.