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Pedants' corner

Fine-tooth comb

(42 Posts)
Juliet27 Sun 18-Apr-21 08:54:17

Grr It’s not a fine tooth-comb. Do people really comb their teeth?!!

AGAA4 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:11:54

I don't like the way 'use' has been misused as in " I could use a cup of coffee". What for? Creosoting the fence?

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:18:45

Juliet27

Grr It’s not a fine tooth-comb. Do people really comb their teeth?!!

Educate me. What is it then? It’s a comb with fine teeth - so a fine tooth comb??? No???

Loislovesstewie Sun 18-Apr-21 09:22:26

Fine toothed comb?

Elegran Sun 18-Apr-21 09:22:59

Juliet27 No-one these days keeps a fine-tooth comb to use on their hair to catch the little lodgers (they wash it with a magic shampoo from the supermarket and hey presto! they vanish) so they don't connect the words with the relity.

Elegran Sun 18-Apr-21 09:24:48

Two who have never heard of it just while I was typing! It is a comb with very cposely spaced teeth. Headlice, nits etc are small enough to be missed by a normally-spaced comb.

Amberone Sun 18-Apr-21 09:25:03

Polarbear2

Juliet27

Grr It’s not a fine tooth-comb. Do people really comb their teeth?!!

Educate me. What is it then? It’s a comb with fine teeth - so a fine tooth comb??? No???

It's a fine-tooth comb (a comb with fine teeth) as opposed to a fine tooth-comb (a comb for teeth)🙂

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:27:00

Ahhhh I see. I wouldn’t hyphenate it anyway but I see the glitch now. Thanks 👍

Juliet27 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:27:04

The hyphen makes the difference. So many put the emphasis on tooth comb. I did put it in pedants’ corner...I know my place 😉

muse Sun 18-Apr-21 09:29:47

Polarbear2

Juliet27

Grr It’s not a fine tooth-comb. Do people really comb their teeth?!!

Educate me. What is it then? It’s a comb with fine teeth - so a fine tooth comb??? No???

It's more to do with how it's written than said.

It's as OP says fine-tooth comb. I think Juliet27is saying that putting the hyphen in the wrong place changes the meaning.

I worked with teachers and TAs of deaf children. It annoyed me and them when they were referred to deaf teachers.

Shropshirelass Sun 18-Apr-21 09:31:08

Could of instead of could have is one I find irritating

Elegran Sun 18-Apr-21 09:33:35

Once upon a time, every household had one. The unfortunate child with suspected nits was sat on a kitchen chair while mother combeed through small sections of hair hoping to trap any infesting beasties. There would be a dish of water nearby, and anything caught was washed off into it and droewned.

A nit nurse visited schools to do the same thing, and certain children would be segregated from the others and a note sent to their parents. Oh the ignominy!

A friend of mine who trained as a nurse in the late fifties was accustomed to doing the same thing to patients newly admitted to hospital. Going back to nursing after bringing up her children, she offered, while helping with an admission "Shall I get the nit comb?" but was met with horror, "We don't do that any more!"

She said that as a theatre nurse, she had watched as an unconscious patient lay on the operating table. The beasties had detected the anaesthetic in her blood and were leaving her head in droves.

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:44:08

Urghh. That’s horrible. Ooh am shivery now 😂😂😂😂

Baggs Sun 18-Apr-21 09:44:47

Elegran

Juliet27 No-one these days keeps a fine-tooth comb to use on their hair to catch the little lodgers (they wash it with a magic shampoo from the supermarket and hey presto! they vanish) so they don't connect the words with the relity.

Actually, I do. Still have mine, which I used on my kids' heads. Fine-tooth combing hair twice a day for a couple of weeks was completely effective.

Used it on my own hair too, to make sure none of the beasties had transferred themselves to my head.

Haven't used it for years now. Nowadays tick removing gadgets proliferate in our house. So far I've removed 12 from my person this year. If it carries on at this rate I'll beat my last year's record of a couple of dozen (I actually lost count).

Sometimes I think I'm more at risk of getting Lime Disease than Covid, especially now I'm vaccinated against the latter. Not that I felt particularly at risk anyway. Nor of Lime (is it Lyme or Lime) Disease. I think the risk has been inflated.

Mind you, we religiously disinfect our tick bite sites with gin – old, cheap gin that was to be made into sloe gin years ago but wasn't.

Health tips free from the Boggy Brae, folks! 😜

Baggs Sun 18-Apr-21 09:46:03

BTW, all the ticks are acquired in my own garden.

Baggs Sun 18-Apr-21 09:46:30

Full of wildlife it is.

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:46:35

Lyme disease. Sounds nasty. I hate the thought of ticks. (Sorry OP were getting away from combs 😁)

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:47:25

*we’re. Remembered I’m on pedants corner 😉

Polarbear2 Sun 18-Apr-21 09:55:37

For my six pennorth 😉 I’m increasingly seeing people use bare instead of bear. As in bear the weight of something. They put bare instead? Seen it several times recently.

Blossoming Sun 18-Apr-21 09:59:13

It’s a fine-toothed comb, meaning the width of the teeth an the distance apart. You could keep it on top of your Chester Drraws grin

timetogo2016 Sun 18-Apr-21 10:00:17

My mother used to use the term fine toothed comb quite alot.
As in "before i throw that bag out i`m going through it with a fine toothed comb" , and if she was looking for something in a cupboard she would say the same thing.

Blossoming Sun 18-Apr-21 10:00:18

Or Draws even ...

Blossoming Sun 18-Apr-21 10:03:33

I see my typing in rubbish today so I’d best leave Pedants Corner !

Juliet27 Sun 18-Apr-21 10:27:13

Polarbear2

For my six pennorth 😉 I’m increasingly seeing people use bare instead of bear. As in bear the weight of something. They put bare instead? Seen it several times recently.

That’s one I often have trouble with I must admit

Esspee Sun 18-Apr-21 10:37:12

I was on a webchat with a TalkTalk advisor when the message came up “Please bare with me.”
I kindly explained to him that what he was suggesting was presumably not what he meant to say and that his colleagues should be made aware how important it was to get the spelling correct in this phrase.