This one is comprised of the four incorrect pronunciations that annoyed me the most over the past few days, and their proper pronunciations.
1. For all intensive purposes
What does that even mean? Your purposes are intense? *confused look*
The intended phrase here is, "for all intents and purposes."
See how much more sense this makes? It's not that you have intense purpose, it's that there are intents that go with your purposes.
2. Death nail
Okay, this one I can understand. It's an often mispronounced archaic term, "death knell."
See, a death knell is the bell that rings to warn someone of their oncoming death.But it's also very similar to the "nail in the coffin", with which "death nail" often gets mashed.
Here's how you tell them apart:
The final nail in a coffin is something that puts something to death. Say, the final topic of conversation is concluded, which will now end Bob's relationship with Sarah (sorry if there are any Bob's and Sarah's out there).
The death knell is the bell that will toll a moment before Sarah steps back onstage to kill Bob, for the thing he said that put the final nail in the coffin.
There is no death nail, unless you're killing someone with a nail, which I don't recommend.
Again, my apologies to Bob's and Sarah's.
3. Alterior motive
Again, I completely understand how this happened.
See, the problem here is the word "alternate" with which people sometimes mix this phrase. Its intended wording is "ulterior motive." An ulterior motive is one that cannot be seen, one that's below the surface of what's seen.
It's not a motive alternate to the one you're thinking it is, which is what would make alterior proper (and also make it an actual word, which it isn't).
I think that's fairly straightforward.
5. Ec Cetera
Lastly, and most understandable of all, the failure of pronouncing et cetera correctly.
The problem here is mostly a dialectual one. There are very many dialects where the sound "et" changes to "ec."
But here's a very simple way to remember it:
Et cetera is always abbreviated to etc. Notice how there's a T in there? ;-) The abbreviation is just et plus the c from cetera.
Please do not judge me by my odd choices here. They're literally the ones that I heard this past week.