DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 08-06-

1a. This will certainly wet your appetite. (No)

This will certainly whet your appetite. (Yes)

1b. It is not my per say. (No)

It is not my persay. (No)

It is not my per se. (Yes)

(“Whet” means to sharpen or stimulate; it has nothing to do with being “wet”. Besides, the Latin phrase, “per se”, means “in itself” or “intrinsically”.)

2a. Two hundred souvenirs will be distributed on the basis of first come, first serve. (No)

Two hundreds souvenirs will be distributed on the basis of first come, first served. (Yes)

2b. Now that the ones are given a free reign by the society, they abuse substances. (No)

Now that the ones are given a free rein by the society, they abuse substances. (Yes)

(Without the “d”, the expression, “first come, first serve”, would suggest that the first person to arrive will be the one to serve everyone, which is not the meaning of the idiom. Then, a “rein” refers to what controls a horse. The idiom derives from the fact that when you give a horse a free rein, you let it go wherever it wants. This is different from the “reign” of a king or ruler.)

3a. A typical politician tells you a boldface lie. (No)

A typical politician tells you a boldfaced lie. (No)

A typical politician tells you a bald-faced lie. (Yes)

3b. The President decided not to tow the line of his corrupt predecessors. (No)

The President decided not to toe the line of his corrupt predecessors. (Yes)

(“Bald-faced” means “shameless” or “showing no remorse or guilt”. When a person tells a bald-faced lie, they are openly lying. Its acceptable variant is “barefaced lie”. Then, one usually tows a vehicle. To “toe the line” means to “follow the rules or precepts”. The idiom derives from runners who put their toes to the line before running. )

Did You Know?

Turning down or pretending not to be interested in something that you really want is called “accismus”.

Do you know anyone who is fond of accismus?

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