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Sentence and Word Structure

I hear people say chomping at the bit and champing at the bit are both correct?

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2013-02-28 10:33:22
2013-02-28 10:33:22

"Champing" is the original form -- it is still currently endorsed as the only correct form by the Associated Press and others; "chomping" may be considered "correct" now because of its over-misuse. Just like "ain't" is now in the dictionary -- just because it's been adopted on account of frequent use/misuse -- doesn't necessarily vouch for its correctness. If you say "chomping" to more learned communities or members of the media, be prepared for some criticism. While you're are it, better throw in "between you and I" just to seal the deal. (Please note: that's called "sarcasm"; the correct form is "between you and me.")

AnswerChamping is the correct usage, although through active mis-use chomping is now considered an alternative in some circles the way ain't is considered an alternative...

FWIW, some actual misuses to avoid:

"flaunt" instead of flout, meaning to ignore.

"hone in on" instead of home in on.

"for all intensive purposes" instead of intents and purposes

"carmel" instead of caramel

"less" problems instead of fewer problems (if you're discussing quantities; the term is "fewer"; if it's volume, "less" is correct.)

"towards" instead of toward

"doggy-dog" instead of dog-eat-dog

"run the gauntlet" rather than the correct "run the gantlet" (a gauntlet is a glove; a gantlet is an ordeal, and refers to the partition and ordeal between joust opponents)

"try and" rather than the correct "try to" (test this by applying the past tense: 'I tried to succeed but failed' as opposed to 'I tried and succeeded but failed')

"ex-ce-tra" rather than the correct "et-cet-er-a" (should be 4 syllables; no "x")

"ve-tran" rather than the correct "vet-er-an" (should be 3 syllables)

"ve-tra-nar-i-an" rather than the correct "vet-er-i-nar-i-an" (should be 6 syllables)

"in-trest" rather than the correct "in-ter-est" (should be 3 syllables)

"youngest of the two" rather than the correct "younger of the two" (younger refers to two, youngest references 3 or more)

Other popular mistakes are:

"larnyx" rather than the correct "larynx" (note the y is before the n)

"it's" or "its" improperly used... "it's" is a contraction of "it is", "its" refers to possessiveness.

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