Make Your Editor Cry: Chock up vs. Chalk up

Make Your Editor Cry: Chock up vs. Chalk up

In modern language, a “chock” is most often thought of as a wedge or block for steadying an object (such as a cask or the wheels of an airplane) and holding it motionless. Thus to “chock something up” would mean to install chocks so that the something in question remains motionless.

The correct version—”chalk up”—comes from keeping score on a chalkboard and means to ascribe or to credit.

The correct expression is any variant of “chalk up” such as “chalk it up” or “chalk this up” or “chalking it up.”

Incorrect:

Often, adults don’t believe there could be a mental issue because they chock up bad behavior in adolescents to just being a “typical teenager.”

Correct:

Let’s just chalk up the grammatical errors to inexperience.

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