You Aren't Fazed, And You Certainly Aren't Phased

To faze is "to disturb; discomfit; daunt", according to the Macquarie Dictionary. It's often used in expressions such as "I'm not fazed" to express a "no worries" attitude. That's fine, but don't write it as "I'm not phased". That conveys a "no brains" attitude.

Gun picture from Shutterstock

As always with homophones, I can understand how someone who has never seen this written down before might choose the wrong version. Phase is much more common, both as a noun and a verb. But that doesn't mean it's the version you want. It's yet another distinction you have to learn to write effectively. Accuracy matters.

Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.


    That conveys a “no brains” attitudeWow.. So making a simple grammatical Faux pas, means you have no brains... Hyperbole maybe...

      It was a play on the previous '"no worries" attitude' statement. Got brains?

        My problem is that Angus regularly hints that you are stupid for making simple grammar errors...!!

    Not sure what that picture has to do with the article, but I'm OK with it.

      I think you mean you're not fazed by it. ;)

    In a similar vein (note, not 'vain') I recently read that a political party was not exactly wrapped in the performance of one of its members. Of course 'rapt' was intended. Yes Ive seen 'phased' a few times recently when 'fazed' is intended and it really clangs. Not exactly the end of the world though, just some relaxing diversion for pedants.

    Maybe they are just commenting on the state of their matter such as

    I'm actually not sure which i would have used in the past, thankfully i normally say it not write it.

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