Common Misnomers


Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
Monkey Island
Steep learning curve is actually the opposite, whatever you choose to use as the axes. If you plot time vs learning, a steep curve would suggest you gained a lot of knowledge in a short time. To suggest what's usually meant by the phrase, it would be a slow gradual rise, or - if you're not so bright - almost a flat line. If you plot time vs. what you need to know it's a downhill curve.

Does "everything is downhill from here" indicate something good or bad happening? What if you fall backwards? Does it assume the presence of brakes?


I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
Plymouth, MN


Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
Similarly Aesop advises us to “Look before you leap,” but “He who hesitates is lost.”
Aesop-like: The early worm gets eaten by the early bird.

One of my faves is the pair:
I wish that I knew what I know now When I was younger. Ronnie Lane/Ronnie Wood made famous by Rod Stewart
Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. Bob Seeger
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wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
lafayette in
Thank the Greeks for the "rh"s:
rhapsody, rheostat, rhesus, rhetoric, rheumatism, rhinoceros, rhizome, rhododendron, rhombus, rhubarb and rhythm, all being words derived from Greek
Then there are all the pointless "gh"'s---through thorough thought though, knight (why the k?) draught, highway, cough, bough, enough, height, sigh, etc.

It is said English is made up of three (or more) other languages. At least we don't have to deal with genders for every word. Try counting in French. I feel sorry for people trying to learn English. Our slang and composite words have to drive them crazy, not to mention all of the native English speakers who have no decent command of the language. When you can't figure out which form of to (two, too) or your (you're, your, yore) it's hard to explain it to someone trying to learn the right way.