Common Mistakes: Confused expressions

March 9, 2006: Issue 130

When something suits a particular situation, it “fills the bill.” It does not “fit the bill.”

Think “bill” as in theater, not as in accounting. The origin of this expression is in vaudeville, when producers who wanted to round out a show looked for someone who would complement the other acts to fill the bill for the evening.

Other commonly confused expressions:

bated breath (not baited)
champ at the bit (not chomp)
deep-seated (not deep-seeded)
row to hoe (not road)
toe the line (not tow)

MICROSOFT WORD TIP:¬†When you’re working with Track Changes activated, you can get a quick look at clean copy by going to the window at the left side of the Reviewing toolbar and selecting Final. When you’re ready to see the color-coded type and strikethroughs again, select Final Showing Markup. (Any changes you make in Final mode will be tracked when you switch back to Final Showing Markup.)

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