Tenterhooks

Like most students you are probably all-too familiar with the anxiety of waiting for exam results. The suspense might have been so extreme at times that you described yourself as being on “tenderhooks.”
It certainly makes sense that “tenderhooks” could be correct. After all, if you are anxiously waiting for – or “hooked” on – getting a response, then of course you might feel a bit tender. But, alas, logical as that explanation might seem, it’s not the case.

In fact, the correct English word is “tenterhooks.” The expression comes from a technique for processing wool that goes back hundreds of years. Newly-woven cloth was stretched out in the open air on wooden frames called “tenters.” It was a common sight in England in the old days to see fields of cloth, each long length being firmly secured to the frames with hooks. We no longer see fields of tenters – but their image remains in the old cliché.
I’ve written before about the easy mix-ups that can occur between “d” and “t” simply because we make their sounds in almost exactly the same way. The only difference is that the “t” is voiceless while the “d” is voiced. In other words, we vibrate the air when making the “d” sound, but leave it smooth when uttering a “t.” (Just put your hand on your throat as you make the sounds to check that this is true.)
When words grow unfamiliar or when they only appear in stock phrases, then easy sound mix-ups lead to errors in writing. Just consider the following sentence. Should it say “thing” or “think”?
If the twins thought their parents were going to let them host the class party, then they had another thing/think coming.
 
Scroll down to see the correct response:
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The correct answer is “think,” the present tense version of “thought.”

Useful samples and examples: https://essays.io/resume-examples-samples/

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