9 words and phrases even the smartest among us are guilty of misusing.

In a resolution offered in early March, Missouri state Rep. Tracy McCreery (D) urged her colleagues in the House to stop using the word "physical" when they mean "fiscal."

Yes, the Missouri legislature has important work to do. And yes, this may seem like a joke or the petty whining of a grammar grouch, but McCreery is serious. This was her last resort.


The resolution and its author, Rep. Tracy McCreery. Images via Missouri House of Representatives.

"I did it because I hit a wall," she told Missouri's Riverfront Times.

"I feel like the word 'fiscal' is just very critical to doing our job properly," she later told The Washington Post. "And I feel like that's a word that we should be cognizant of pronouncing correctly."

But McCreery's fellow representatives in the Missouri House aren't alone. We're all guilty of misusing words or phrases.

Even the smartest among us make innocuous errors, sometimes without even realizing it. And while most of us won't be called out by a statewide proposition, what better time than now to nip a few other common mistakes in the bud. (Yes, bud — not butt.)

Here are nine words and phrases that often trip people up.

1. I could care less vs. I couldn't care less.

You use this phrase when you just cannot muster any additional concern for the issue at hand. So when you've reached the bottom of your care well, and there is nowhere left to go, you could not care less.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"Call me crazy, but I couldn't care less that Melissa McCarthy is sitting out the 'Gilmore Girls' reboot."


GIF via "Gilmore Girls."

2. Irregardless vs. regardless

Regardless already means "without regard." So irregardless, while a word, isn't the one you're looking for.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"Regardless of how many times I've seen it, if 'Sister Act 2' is on TV, I'm going to watch it."


GIF via "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit."

3. Statue of limitations vs. statute of limitations

A statue of limitations doesn't exist. Unless a ceramicist finally made a sculpture of me trying to fold a king-size fitted sheet by myself.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"I finally admitted that I stole the cookies from the cookie jar, as my preschool crime spree is outside the statute of limitations."


GIF via "Sesame Street."

4. For all intensive purposes vs. for all intents and purposes.

If you're not used to this one, it just seems wrong. It makes you sound like a pompous jerk. The kind of person who says, "Uhh, Frankenstein was the name of the doctor, you're thinking of Frankenstein's monster." But English is a weird and wonderful language, and intents and purposes is the right way to say it.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"For all intents and purposes, Beyoncé is the only reason I bothered getting out of bed today."

5. Sneak peak vs. sneak peek

A peak is the top of a mountain. A peek is a glance at something. Unless Denali is tip-toeing behind you, you didn't get a sneak peak of anything. Even the White House made this mistake, so if you're guilty of this one, you're in good company.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"I got a sneak peek of the new Batman movie, but this GIF had a better plot."


6. Luxuriant vs. luxurious

You take a sip of fine wine, poured from an actual bottle, rest your feet on a non-IKEA coffee table, and relax. This is the good life, a truly luxuriant experience. NOT SO FAST, MONEY BAGS. Though they sound very similar, luxuriant means lush, abundant, and prolific. You're thinking of the word luxurious, which means magnificent, well-appointed, and elegant.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"Her jaunty cap was quite luxurious, albeit ridiculous."


GIF via "Parks and Recreation."

7. Should of vs. should've

Yes, they sound the same. But no, they don't mean the same thing. Should've is the contraction of "should have." The same goes for could've and would've too.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"I should've asked what pizza toppings you wanted, but I really like pepperoni, and I was afraid you'd want vegetables."

8. Everyday and every day

This word and phrase both have a place in your vocabulary. The trick is to make sure you're using them at the right place and time. Everyday means commonplace, ordinary, or routine while every day means each new unit of 24 hours.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"Going bowling was an everyday activity in Springfield, until one daring woman brought her cat."


GIF via "The Simpsons."

"He wore the same outfit every day: shirt, slacks, and the largest unicorn mask he could find."

9. Mute vs. moot (vs. moo)

A mute point occurs when you're watching basketball with the sound off. The phrase you're probably thinking of is moot point — or if you're a "Friends" fan, a moo point.

Use it correctly in a sentence:

"I told the bartender I could fit the entire garnish tray in my mouth, but since I'm calling you from jail, it's a moot point."


GIF via "Orange Is the New Black."

English is a tricky language. Mistakes, flubs, and slips are bound to happen.

There's no shame in making a harmless error, but learning more about these words and phrases and their proper uses can prevent plenty of embarrassing (and resolution-worthy) moments.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via The BC Cancer Foundation

Testicular cancer typically affects men between the ages of 16 and 44 and is the most common solid tumor to occur in men of this age group. These tumors grow rapidly and can double in size in just 10 to 30 days.

The disease is potentially fatal if not discovered early and accounts for about 11%-13% of all cancer deaths of men between the ages of 15-35. An estimated 9,60 people were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2020, resulting in around 440 deaths.

So it's incredibly important for people with testicles to check themselves regularly.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.