Everything Language and Grammar

Hit-and-Miss Misses the Grammar Mark

Posted by languageandgrammar on March 30, 2008

I’ve heard the grammar error hit-and-miss used instead of the correct hit-or-miss by almost every meteorologist on television and by many meteorologists who write weather blogs. Hit-or-miss is an adjective that describes something that either might or might not occur (usually in one particular spot), such as hit-or-miss thunderstorms.

Even if talking about storms that might occur in many spots, they are still hit-or-miss because that’s what they will do—either hit OR miss. There will be hit-or-miss showers in Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado today (not hit-and-miss).

The last time that I checked, something, whether it’s a snow shower, an idea, a thunderstorm, or a meteor, could not both hit AND miss simultaneously. The correct adjective is hit-or-miss. Anything else defies the laws of physics.

Sherry

Sherry’s Grammar List and Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

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One Response to “Hit-and-Miss Misses the Grammar Mark”

  1. Nancy said

    Good catch! I’ll have to listen to our weather reports more closely. 🙂

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