not my forte
Some people insist that it’s an error to pronounce the word “forte” in the expression “not my forte” as if French-derived “forte” were the same as the Italian musical term for “loud”: “for-tay.” But the original French expression is pas mon fort, which not only has no E on the end to pronounce—it has a silent T as well. It’s too bad that when we imported this phrase we mangled it so badly, but it’s too late to do anything about it now. If you go around saying what sounds like “that’s not my fort,” people won’t understand what you mean.
However, those who use the phrase to mean “not to my taste” (“Wagnerian opera is not my forte”) are definitely mistaken. Your forte is what you’re good at, not just stuff you like.
This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.
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