Professional Style

Home/Hone In On

September 2011
Spot the Error

Elliott knew that, if he wanted to raise his GPA, he’d have to hone in on his studies.

Elliott may be able to hone his #2 pencils for his exams, but he can’t hone in on his studies. Hone means to sharpen. What Elliott needs to do is move toward a goal or destination—that’s home in on. It’s a metaphor for what homing pigeons do.

Tongue-Lashing
Shame on you, Mr. Online-Merriam-Webster Man, for saying that hone in on is the “current” terminology, implying that it is correct. Just because a lot of people mistakenly say hone in on does NOT make it correct.

~ Thank you, Julie G., for your topic suggestion.

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