The English language is a wondrous thing - when used "correctly" but here are 10 popular idioms that could get you into "hot water" and, perhaps,  you should consider eliminating from your daily vocabulary.

The words we speak can be colorful and descriptive, and through the years we have adopted a set of commonly accepted phrases that are used to convey a particular truth - sort of like an old proverb.

Dictionary.com defines an idiom as an "expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements". In other words, these colorful expressions are not intended to be taken literally, nor do they infer a necessary link to a particular item used in the phrase. For example, "it's raining like cats and dogs" has absolutely nothing to do with animals of any kind. But, when someone says it, you know exactly what they mean.

When the owner of the Houston Texans recently raised eyebrows with his comments about the "inmates running the prison," I was suddenly compelled to inventory my own storehouse of well-known idioms for the purpose of eliminating potentially inflammatory and offensive sayings from my vocabulary. Above all else, we must be politically correct at all times.

So here are 10 popular idioms that you quite likely have used. But, in my never-ending quest to be politically correct, these are being considered for elimination from my vocabulary. Better safe than sorry.

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  • 1

    CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT

    Everyone knows I prefer dogs to cats, but I certainly don't want anyone to think I'm advocating cruelty to animals, or inferring the implication that somehow the cat was solely responsible for his own demise.

  • 2

    KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE

    I'll admit I killed a few birds with a BB gun when I was 10 years old. I'm sorry and I have regrets. But, I want it to be known that my animal killing days are over, and I am certainly not in favor of throwing rocks at birds for the purpose of killing them or injuring them.

  • 3

    LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG

    So we have the animal theme going here - and I think that most would agree- cats should not be in bags. Yes, I have let the cat out of the bag a few times, but, the fact is, I have never in my life put a cat in any sort of bag, and I would hope that nobody else is doing this dastardly deed.

  • 4

    SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

    The fact is, I wasn't actually talking about the devil or to the devil. I just happened to be mentioning you when you walked up. Please don't think I'm a devil-worshipper.

  • 5

    BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE

    If I ever said this to you, I didn't mean to imply you are a dog. Nor, was it an implication that you were barking. It's just that I thought you were looking in the wrong place or possibly accusing the wrong person.

  • 6

    DEVIL'S ADVOCATE

    Yes, it's true. Sometimes I play devil's advocate, but in no way am I promoting Satan's point of view, or speaking on his behalf. I'm simply stating a view that perhaps you haven't considered --and that could be to your benefit.

  • 7

    PULL THE WOOL OVER YOUR EYES

    There's a couple of things here you need to understand. I'm not that much into sheep shearing, nor am I in favor of anyone placing anything over anyone else's head, which is exactly what you'd have to do to get it over someone's eyes. Besides, what if someone is allergic to wool?

  • 8

    ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

    If you want to know the truth, I really don't believe that Elvis is still alive, so it's essentially impossible for him to leave the building. When the show is over, the show is over, but perhaps bringing the name of Elvis into it may cause some grief for his loved ones.

  • 9

    COST AN ARM AND A LEG

    First of all, I have no idea how much an arm and a leg would cost on the open market. Secondly,is there really someone out there accepting arms and legs rather than cash?

  • 10

    HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

    So, you've heard an interesting rumor, but did it really  come from a bunch of talking or singing grapes in some vineyard? We have a lot of grape growers in the Grand Valley and I certainly don't want to offend any of them by somehow implying their grapes are mutant rock 'n' roll wannabes.