SO Commonly Confused
By Annette Rey
This particular misuse occurs frequently, on all kinds of platforms of television programs, radio, and in daily conversation. Recently I heard it on a commercial. Curious?
“Pharmacy prices vary wildly.”
I’m sorry, but I wasn’t aware dollar amounts were capable of action or expressing movement or emotion. The way this is spoken, I picture dollar bills waving their paper length and somehow jumping up and down. And if they had a voice, screaming. In other words, they would be behaving wildly.
If in fact, this statement was spoken correctly, the dollar amounts would be simply one of comparative, computable mathematics. The correct way to say what was meant to be said is: “Pharmacy prices vary widely.”
Use of our English language has become so loose, this incorrect phrase is used by everyone from student to blue collar to the highest elite.
The chicken in the photograph is reacting wildly to the dog’s approach.
Keep your ear tuned. You will catch it, too.
And, certainly, don’t confuse these words in your writing.
That commercial drives me nuts.
I feel validated that there is someone else on this Earth who thinks like I do! Thanks! 🙂
Oh my gosh! I also googled this because the commercial, now playing on Hulu, was driving me nuts. Glad I’m not alone!
NOT alone! Thanks for reading. Sorry for the delay in responding. I am back from an absence and have lots of new writing tactics to share. Stay tuned! 🙂
re Wlidly vs. Widely: You and Oscar Wilde might enjoy (if he could) this example from the medical literature (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747192/). First sentence of the Introduction: “Coffee is one of the most wildly consumed beverages in the world.”
You are great! Thank you for that. Sorry for the delay in responding. I have returned from an absence. Will be posting and available now. 🙂
Thank you. I react wildly to that commercial! I’m happy to see at least a few other people feel the same way I do, though as is usually the case, opinions vary widely. 😉
Very well written! Thank you for reading. Note my newest post. I have returned from an absence. Looking forward to entertaining you. 🙂