Monday, December 15, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 75)

Here are some more of those pesky words and phrases that trip up many writers:

Jerry-rigged vs. Jury-rigged vs. Jerry-built

Wrong: That jerry-rigged contraption will never hold together.

Right: That jury-rigged contraption will never hold together.

The expressions jury-rigged and jerry-built both refer to something that is hastily and perhaps poorly assembled. Jerry-rigged appears to be a jerry-built mixture of the two that shouldn’t be used.

Crossover vs. Cross over

Wrong: His spirit is waiting to crossover to the other side.

Right: His spirit is waiting to cross over to the other side.

A crossover (noun) is something that spans two things (landmasses, book genres, types of motor vehicles, etc.). On the other hand, to cross over (verb phrase) is to change successfully from one thing or state of being to another (for example, to die, change political parties, or mutate).

I haven't run out of terms yet. Come back soon for more.


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