Ask Me a Question

If you have a writing, grammar, style or punctuation question, send an e-mail message to curiouscase at sign hotmail dot com.

Add Your Own Criminal Sentence!

If you find a particularly terrible sentence somewhere, post it for all to see (go here and put it in the Comments section).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Criminal Sentence 389: Gone Fishing (for the correct spelling)

From a book I'm reading:

"The whole colony was waiting with baited breath."

No fish here.

Not only is this a cliche, but it's spelled wrong! If you must use a cliche (well, you don't have to, do you?), please spell it right: "bated breath."


Anonymous said...

So "bated" means "held" as in holding one's breath?

Anonymous said...

Of course, it doesn't help when I remember a Tom and Jerry cartoon when the cat ate some cheese and breathed into the mousehole...

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Bated does indeed mean held, as stated by "with breath drawn in or held because of anticipation or suspense."