Lab Results: Wrong Word, Man


Patient Lab Rules

Photo courtesy of Sharon King

Holy syringe! This lab sign does not have typos, but is loaded with poor grammar. I think they mean “only the person having blood drawn,” or “only the person having lab work done.” Unless, of course, you can “draw lab” and I just don’t know it. And where’s the punctuation between “point” and “thank you?”

It’s a case of a related but incorrect word getting into a sentence. Here are others I have noticed:

  • It takes two to tangle. Yes, you need more than one thing to tangle, but the correct saying is “It takes two to tango.”
  • Escape goat. Animals do get out of gates, but it is “scape goat.”
  • Hunger pains. Some hunger is so intense that it is painful, but sorry, everyone. It’s “hunger pangs.”

These phrases are even trickier to get right because not only will spell-check not catch them, dictionaries don’t list whole phrases. I recommend Google for looking up these expressions. Are there any phrases people say or write incorrectly that make you cringe? Tell us, please.

Happy reading and writing, my friends!

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short story collection A Gathering of Butterflies and the novella Honey Riley. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit


Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for The Real McCoy. Conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass, but to educate.