Taking some liberties with language

March 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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One of my pet peeves is when people misstate or mix-and-match their proverbs and idioms. Although I usually think of myself as inclined towards description rather than prescription, I don’t mess around when it comes to sayings: they are fixed for a reason! For example, David Brooks’s repeated misuse of “throw him under the bus” as “throw him under the truck” evoked some serious anger. Last week I heard the host of “Shear Genius” (Bravo’s Project-Runway-for-hair-stylists show) utter this butchered idiom:

“Slow down your horses!”

Clearly, she meant to say “hold your horses,” and while normally this would piss me off, I’m pretty sure Camila Alves speaks English as a second language, rendering her misuse kind of adorable.

The same ESL cuteness cannot be applied to Tyra Banks, however, and while what I’m about to tell you is by no means an idiomatic mistake, it is so ridiculous and contrived that it warrants mention. Tyra has decided that “plus-size model” is an inaccurate way to describe models larger than a size 2—aside from the negative connotation of the word, her main objection (if I understand correctly) is that it is incongruous with the fact that the average American woman wears a size 14. Tyra’s rebranding for “plus-size”?

Fiercely Real,” or “FR-size.”

I’m serious.

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