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To wonder what mental image people have for 'towing the line'...

(262 Posts)
LaFlambeau Sun 13-Jul-14 00:53:45

When the correct expression is 'toeing the line'?

Poofus Sun 13-Jul-14 00:55:26

Yes, mad, isn't it? I also always wonder what people think a fine "toothcomb" is...

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Sun 13-Jul-14 00:58:55


I was about to comment that it was actually "toeing" <pedant>

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Sun 13-Jul-14 01:00:19

'Toothcomb' - for combing outbthe bits of gristle between your teeth, right? wink

LaFlambeau Sun 13-Jul-14 01:01:29

Toothcomb... Like a toothbrush, obviously grin

MarrogfromMars Sun 13-Jul-14 01:04:39

And when people 'reign someone in' (rein them in). To be fair, reign does have connotations of getting someone to do what they're told, but the original is a nice metaphor which actually makes sense!

NotWeavingButDarning Sun 13-Jul-14 01:07:24

Or when people take a different 'tact' instead of tack. Loses all sense of meaning.

LaFlambeau Sun 13-Jul-14 01:09:08

Although incorrect, 'giving free reign' almost makes sense. Perhaps that's where the reign/rein confusion arises.

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Sun 13-Jul-14 01:09:20

'Intensive purposes'

echt Sun 13-Jul-14 01:09:34

I think the towing the line brigade imagine someone hauling on a rope, possibly in the manner of sailors, so maintaining the image of working together.

AshaH1982 Sun 13-Jul-14 01:11:03

Duck tape. Made from ducks or used to stick a few ducks together?

CuttedUpPear Sun 13-Jul-14 01:13:49

I realise this topic should be in Pedant's Corner really, which annoys the pedant in me...but while we are here, may I vent my spleen about "unfortunately"?
I am hearing it pronounced (on the BBC!) as "unfortunely" over and over again!


gymboywalton Sun 13-Jul-14 01:14:07

Fine tooth comb is just picky, it's just the emphasis you are questioning?

CuttedUpPear Sun 13-Jul-14 01:14:36

I mean this thread, not this topic. Apols!Soz!

gymboywalton Sun 13-Jul-14 01:14:55

And duck tape is a brand

Shnickyshnackers Sun 13-Jul-14 01:16:15

I thought the saying was 'going at a rate of noughts', instead of 'nots', i thought there were lots of naughts because you were literally going soo fast, ie add on lots of noughts.....

Bogeyface Sun 13-Jul-14 01:16:59

Duck tape is a trade name for a brand of duct tape, so either would be ok. Like saying Sellotape instead of sticky tape, or Hoover instead of vacuum cleaner.

Bogeyface Sun 13-Jul-14 01:17:22

X post Gymbo!

Shnickyshnackers Sun 13-Jul-14 01:17:31

its a fine toothed comb gymboywalton.

LaFlambeau Sun 13-Jul-14 01:18:26

It's not pedantry - I'm genuinely curious to know what people imagine 'line towing' to be!

ParsingFlatly Sun 13-Jul-14 01:19:13

And a "shoe in" is surely very different from a "shoo in"?

LaFlambeau Sun 13-Jul-14 01:20:09

That's brilliant, Schnicky!

Shnickyshnackers Sun 13-Jul-14 01:22:12

laflambeau, it gets right on my dh's tits, so i make sure to always say it now smile

NotWeavingButDarning Sun 13-Jul-14 01:22:57

Shnickyschnackers it's actually a rate of knots, not 'nots' or 'naughts' grin. 'Tis a nautical measure of speed.

Shnickyshnackers Sun 13-Jul-14 01:23:38

I'll tell you one that's on the tv all the time here (Australia), 'the pointy end of the stick'. In Masterchef etc they often say its getting to the pointy end of the competition. WTF does that mean, where does that 'saying' even come from?

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