A Slew of F’s

Before reading this entry, try counting the number of F’s in this sentence:


Count them….

I wish I knew how to hide the answer on this page….

Keep counting….


Did you guess three?

I did, the first time I saw this. Most people do, as well.

There are six.

We don’t recognize the F in the word of because our brain recognizes it as a V.

This brings me to my newest topic. My roommate, Omni, told me that it drives her crazy when people write out must of instead of must have. It must come from people saying must’ve.

Must of does not exist.

I must have felt uneasy at seeing those two young boys at L’Espalier today, because I felt such immense relief when their mother came in and joined them; she must have been parking the car!

Ah, Boston Restaurant Week. It’s my favorite time of year. I went to L’Espalier with my sister for lunch today. Most people consider L’Espalier to be the best restaurant in Boston. Our food was fantastic. If you go, be sure to have the trout. Tomorrow I’m going to Smith & Wollensky with my sister and my dad!

Does “must of” drive you crazy? I know that there are several other words that are similarly misused — can you think of any?


15 responses to “A Slew of F’s

  1. My favorite: “for all intensive purposes.” Not many people (including myself just last year) know that the phrase is actually “for all intents and purposes.”

    I don’t know why, but I felt so wronged when I found out I had been saying it incorrectly. It was like a big slap in the face, accompanied by someone indicating to me that I really do not think about the phrases I say at all. Now I think about them obsessively. 🙂

  2. Good grief, I hate “must of!” A pet peeve that I hear often is for “Can I?” instead of “May I?” I’ve heard people complain about it enough to where it now aggravates me as well. Also, and I’m guilty of this (but only at home or among family), another annoying one is, “I’m fixin’ to…” instead of something like, “I’m about to…” or “I will…”

  3. “I’m fixin’ to!” That’s crazy — are you from the South?

    You know, dlipkin, I think that I have said both “for all intents and purposes” and “for all intensive purposes.” You’re right about the slap in the face.

  4. I can’t stand hearing “must of.” Also, I get annoyed with dlipkin‘s favorite, “for all intensive purposes.”

    My absolute favorite is “supposively” (or even “supposably”) in place of “supposedly.”

    As far as “fixin’ to” goes… it doesn’t bother me as a colloquialism… like people around here saying something is “wicked cool.”

  5. Another good one is, “by and large.” I can not count the number of times I’ve heard or seen, “by in large” or “by enlarge.”

    By and large

    ADVERB: For the most part.
    Ex: This Web site in by and large entertaining and useful.

    Also, dlipkin, who was the one who burst your bubble? That sounds like something I would do.

  6. Another is “preventative.” As in “preventative medicine,” etc.

    There is no such word. The word is “preventive.”

  7. Awwwww man, “preventative” is not a word?!?! But it sounds so good!

    Sara told me Narges. I actually have the convo saved on my lappy; man, was I crushed by the news that I had been sounding like an idiot. At least to people who actually knew the phrase.

  8. http://www.bartleby.com/61/96/P0549600.html

    preventative: Variant of preventive.

  9. The ones that drive me most crazy involve inserting an extra syllable: “ath-a-lete”, “nu-cu-lear”; or turning “(s)t” into “k”: “eckset(e)ra,” “asterick.” And while we’re at it, check out:


  10. I have one grammar-sensitive friend, and she and I have an ongoing joke about people saying “a whole nother” instead of “a whole other” or “another.”

  11. What about “try and…” (I’ll try and get back to you.)? It’s “try TO.” (I’ll try to remember your number.)

  12. This post reminds me of an old chain email:

    Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

  13. Dennis Fischman

    Rona and I tried the prix fixe dinner at Les Zygomates. Good, not great.

  14. Supposively! Hahahaha. My friends and I have made fun of our other friend for years because she says that! She also pronounces the S at the end of Illinois.

    But she has been my best friend for ten years, and I love her just the quirky way she is!

  15. Oh yes, I’m southern, born and raised. 🙂 Another one I absolutely HATE is when people say “nucular” instead of “nuclear.” It seems to be a problem that afflicts just about everyone I know!

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