The Grammar Geek: Death Throws

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of posts that start, “We’ve been in the throws of an upgrade to Exchange 2007…” or something like that. They keep using that word. I don’t think it means what they think it means.

What they really mean to say is, “We’ve been in the throes…”

Yes, throes.

According to the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary, here’s the deal:

  • Throws means a lot of things. From pitching a ball to intentionally losing a game to hitting someone. While upgrading to Exchange 2007 might feel a lot like being on the receiving end of all of these, this isn’t quite the word to use.
  • Throes only has two definitions: either a pang or spasm, or a hard or painful struggle. Sound a bit more like being in the midst of an upgrade?

Glad you all understand now. Please stop making me twitch.