Say it, don’t slay it.

Planit Agency
January 24, 2011

I was there when "I couldn’t care less" became "I could care less." I was there when people started "flushing" things out, even though what they were really doing is "fleshing" things out. Although I refuse to jump on those two bandwagons, I’ve accepted them. They’re too far gone. I’m done fighting. I’ve moved on.

Now, I’m no grammarian (just ask my agency’s proofreader). In fact, being in advertising, I love a good, pointed, ungrammatically correct sentence fragment. Language, particularly in advertising, can and should be monkeyed with. Yet I simply cannot sit back and allow the following to happen:

"Sooner than later."


As in "I need you to get this brochure done sooner than later."

C’mon, folks. Sooner than later? You’ve got to be kidding me. That makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn’t even sound right—like you hiccupped mid-sentence, skipping a word as you gasped, and never went back to fill in the blank.

Sooner. Than. Later. Think about that and I’m sure you’ll understand why it’s so wrong. Please tell me you understand why it’s so wrong. Please.

If you say it regularly, if you’ve ever said it, if you’re even thinking about saying it, heck, if you’re in love with someone who says it—stop what you’re doing and/or stop what they’re doing.

Sooner rather than later.

What idiomatic error gets under your skin?