Straight and Strait





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Straight and Strait :



If something is not crooked or curved it’s straight.


If it is a narrow passageway beween two bodies of water, it’s a strait.


Place names like “Bering Strait” are almost always spelled “strait.”


Straightjacket or Straitjacket :


The old word “strait” (“narrow, tight”) has survived only as a noun in geography referring to a narrow body of water (“the Bering Strait”) and in a few adjectival uses such as “straitjacket” (a narrowly confining garment) and “strait-laced” (literally laced up tightly, but usually meaning narrow-minded). Its unfamiliarity causes many people to mistakenly substitute the more common “straight.”


When you are threading your way through troubles as if you were traversing a dangerously narrow passage you are in “dire straits.” The expression and the band by that name are often transformed by those who don’t understand the word “strait” into “dire straights."




















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