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Friday, 19 August 2011

Bear in mind – the correct spelling of a phrase, or a terrifying psychotic episode?

A lot of words have more than one meaning. Sometimes, it's as though these words are taunting us like potholes in the roads of our happiness, causing us to find ourselves helplessly stuck in a hole of misunderstanding. The double meaning of bear is an excellent example of these terrible, confusing potholes, not least when it is used in the context of the term 'bear in mind'.

You, like many other sexy and intelligent people, have probably said to yourself more than once, 'hang on, it can't be 'bear' in mind because 'bear' is an animal. It must be the other word that sounds a bit like bear, which is 'bare' in mind. Yes it must be 'bare in mind', as a bear in mind would be a terrifying psychotic episode brought on by a hereditary or lifestyle influence. But before we suffer in the darkness any longer, let's separate the lies from the truth here.

The word bear has two meanings:

1. A large, furry animal that can kill you

2. To carry, e.g. ' They came bearing gifts'

And so, the phrase 'bear in mind' refers to the second meaning of bear, as in 'carry this thought in your mind'.

And so, another grammar pothole has been filled in, making your journey to grammar nirvana smooth and joyous.

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