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Hone in / Home in

狄老板

狄老板

元芳

元芳

qna_Q元芳, 你怎么看?  

Is the phrase “home in” or “hone in?”

qna_A 亲爱的老板, Never say “hone in.” When you say “home in” be sure to use “m.”

“Home in” means “to find the way to a certain point.”

  • Homing pigeons (信鸽) find their way home.
  • Smart bombs and torpedoes home in on the targets.
  • We searched Chongqing many days.  Finally we homed in on 火锅饭店. (Please help me with this Chinese phrase!)
  • We hope scientists are homing in on the causes of cancer.
“Hone” means “to sharpen.”
Examples:
  • The butcher hones his knife with a stone.
  • The rookie spent the last three seasons honing his skills in the minor leagues.
  • The successful English student works hard to hone her pronunciation skills.
cringeRoots:
  1. It’s easy to mishear m’s and n’s.
  2. When reading, many Americans and foreigners have never noticed the m in home and the n in hone.  So a Virginia senator said, “We’ve got to hone in on cost containment.” (cringe)
Alternate:

If you’re unsure of getting “home in” right, say “zero in” for the same meaning.

Cheer!
元芳

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