Monday, June 28, 2010

Rendering Unto Grammar

Last night I heard an expert on one of the many true-crime TV shows I watch (a subject for another day!) say a crime was "heart-rendering." Ooo, that sounds icky. We often pull out words that are close to the ones we really want, but not quite there.

Fat is rendered (melted and clarified), but not hearts. The expert meant "heart-rending" (tearing or splitting) or possibly "heart-wrenching" (violently twisting).

What are other examples of close-but-no-cigar expressions?


  1. Just the other day I heard a local meteorologist state that there was a chance of "hit and miss" storms. Can a storm both hit an area and miss it? I'm quite sure he meant "hit OR miss" but I doubt he realized his error.
    And, by the way, do you watch Criminal Minds? I think there was a loony on there once who DID render a heart and some other parts! Sicko!!

  2. Local news is the source of a lot of mangled language. I get all superior about it until I consider what I might say if someone were foolish enough to put a microphone in my face. I've been known to babble trying to leave a voice mail message.

    I do watch Criminal Minds, but mostly in reruns so maybe I will catch that delightful guy in the future. Blecchh.