A 1952 song popularized the phrase “it takes two to tango”; and it was quickly applied to everything that required two parties, from romance to fighting. Later, people baffled by hearing the phrase used of conflicts imagined that the proper word must be “tangle.” Perhaps if they had thought of the fierce choreography of Parisian apache dancing they would not have been so confused. “It takes two to tangle” will seem the normal phrase to some people, a clever variation to a few, and an embarrassing mistake to many people you might want to impress.

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Common Errors front cover