When it comes to the English language, it’s easy to get things mixed up, but this time, I’m asking you to “mince” it up.
Why, you ask?
No, I’m not making mincemeat pies, nor am I apprenticing with a butcher. I say this because there is a difference between “mixing words” and “mincing words,” and I’ve seen this expression terribly muddled.
- To “mince your words” means to soften them (just like mincing meat makes it mushy and manageable);
- To “not mince your words” (the more common expression) means to tell it like it is and to not hold back, to not soften or make anything any easier.
- To “mix your words,” when you confuse an expression or use the wrong word, is something that admittedly happens to us all sometimes.
Thus telling someone not to mix their words is a fabulous example of someone mixing their words. Not that you’d ever do this though, right?
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