Wrong Word Wednesday #18

Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television

Hone / Home

These are not two words that generally get mixed up in common use, but it is a confusion when used as a specific term – that is when followed by “in”. Increasingly, I am seeing instances of “honing in” which is incorrect. The proper term to find something is “homing in” – a term that comes from the use of carrier pigeons finding their target.

“Honing in” is not a proper term.

Honing – to perfect, practice or improve one’s skills. So you cannot “hone in” on the cause of a food poisoning outbreak.

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