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February 14, 2012

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Comments

Renga Selvaraju

Taking notes is not an easy thing, especially if it is a large gathering and sometimes some of the participants do not speak loud and clear. Therefore if the note taker is not attentive, it is very easy to mistake "pike" for "pipe". Or it could be that the speaker erroneously thought that it is "pipe". If I am taking notes and if something is said that is not audible or clear, I try to ask the person speaking what exactly he or she said. When the meeting is packed, people are calling in and the time is short, it is very easy to make mistakes while taking notes. That said, if someone was saying "coming down the pipe", after the meeting is over, I would like to make sure what it meant by referring to the Concise Oxford Dictionary that is sitting on my desk, rather than googling it.

Becky

I often see and hear "all the sudden" instead of "all of a sudden" or better yet, "suddenly".

Debra Graham

Perhaps this represents a conflation of the idiom "in the pipeline" with "down the pike." The second MW definition of "down the pike" refers to anticipating the arrival of something.

From usingenglish.com: In the pipeline' - If something's in the pipeline, it hasn't arrived yet but its arrival is expected

BTW, it could have been the speaker or the notetaker conflating the two.

Jenny

I find "try and" used more and more often (to mean "try to").

Sharon

I hear it said both ways and realized that American idioms can be confusing and even slightly different from region to region. Course, that probably holds true for pronunciations. Thanks for the clarification!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Renga. Thank you for your very interesting comments from the notetaker's perspective. You describe well the challenges of taking meeting minutes.

In notetaking classes, I recommend that writers avoid recording speakers' exact words. If you record main points, decisions, and action items, you can usually avoid expressions such as "coming down the pike" [or "pipe"].

I appreciate your taking the time to share your views.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Becky. Until now, I had not yet heard or read "all the sudden." It's a great expression to avoid! Thanks for letting us know about it.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Debra. I like your guess about "in the pipeline" combined with "down the pike." It is certainly possible.

Thanks for pointing out that the problem could lie with either the speaker or the writer. In the end, I believe the writer gets the praise or blame for the correctness of the notes.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Jenny. I too hear "try and." Let's spread the word, supporting "try to"!

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Sharon. You are right: Expressions are different from region to region. I try to think beyond my own region and choose expressions that are widely regarded as correct. Thus, my four fat dictionaries!

Lynn

Val S.

This reminds of the use of "home in" versus "hone in." Because they sound so similar - like pipe and pike - people may not know what the original phrase is. I'm not even sure I know!

Randy Averill

Let's not forget, "I could care less." If that's true, then one must care. Typically, people say that to emphasize that they do not care. It should be, "I could not care less." Complete opinion: the phrase should not be used. But if one insists on using it, please be accurate.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Val. You may be interested in a conversation that has continued for more than five years on this blog in response to the post "Hone In or Home In?" Some strong opinions are still swirling on that subject. I believe this one will be less controversial.

Your comment reminded me of the expression "holding one's cards close to one's chest"--or is it "close to one's vest"? Or does it make any difference? I haven't researched the evolution of that expression yet, but I think I prefer "vest."

Thanks for dropping by.

Lynn

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Randy. Thanks for bringing up another good one.

I agree. We should not use the phrase either way.

Lynn

Content Writing Service

Thanks Lynn, I wasn't aware of this sentence though I come across so many times. Really it's a great learning and care of these sentences. I will definitely share in next comment when I will meet these type of sentences. Thanks a ton for sharing.

David Hawthorne

My favorite is "it's a mute point" ... how moot became mute is a mystery but I've been hearing it more and more. If the point is mute, we shouldn't be talking about it :)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, David. "Mute point" is a great expression to avoid. Thank you!

Lynn

Chris

I would think that over 6 million Google returns may not make it "correct" but certainly proves it is not "wrong". It may indeed be a generational difference, whilst I may not useth such vernacular currently it doesn't make it correct or incorrect, only a sign of the 'tymes' :)

Chris

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Chris. As a business writer, I am afraid I must respectfully disagree. Six million Google hits does not save an expression from being wrong. It only means the expression appears six million times for Google to find.

I am certain highly offensive expressions can be found tens of millions of times, but that does not convince me to use them in business writing.

I prefer to use dictionaries and style guides to help me determine whether something is correct.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your view.

Lynn

Sarah

Hi Lynn. I've always liked the misused; 'one fowl swoop'. It gives me an image of chickens raining from the sky.
'One fell swoop' however, as was first used in Shakespeare's Macbeth, whilst in fact talking of chickens, actually heralds from the french 'fel' meaning felon or terrible evil.
In one fell swoop, my opinion of this phrase was changed forever. It is indeed darker than flapping chickens!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Sarah, I had not heard "one fowl swoop." I love it!

Thank you for sharing the Shakespearean background.

Lynn

Matt G.

I have heard the expression, "Coming down the pipeline" or "filling the pipeline" and always thought that I understood these expressions and that anyone using "pike" was confusing the phrase.

I see know that "pike" is the correct word. However, I want to make sure I'm not in the minority here . . . has anyone heard the word "pipeline" used in a phrase to mean the "flow" of projects or information, like the ones I used above?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Matt. I have often heard of projects "in the pipeline."

I believe if you use "in the pipeline" and "coming down the pike" you will be fine. I recommend avoiding "coming down the pipe" or "pipeline."

Lynn

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