The distinction of "wreak havoc" versus "wreck havoc"

This is a discussion thread · 3 replies
formosan:
According to
http://dict.yqie.com/english/w/wreak.htm
(quote)
Wreak is sometimes confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck: The storm wreaked (not wrecked ) havoc along the coast. The past tense and past participle of wreak is wreaked, not wrought, which is an alternative past tense and past participle of work.
(/quote)
I live in Taiwan, where almost every summer typhoons inflict destruction.
And yet no one can seem to stop talking about "wrecking havoc" and "wrecked havoc."
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mm:
[nq:1]According to http://dict.yqie.com/english/w/wreak.htm (quote) Wreak is sometimes confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck: ... every summer typhoons inflict destruction. And yet no one can seem to stop talking about "wrecking havoc" and "wrecked havoc."[/nq]
That many people speak English there? Or you hang around with a lot of people whose native language is English and they use either phrase a lot?
Wrecking havoc would be ruining the havoc, which I guess would mean making things peaceful again and putting things back the way they used to be. If only there were an easy way to do that.

Some people in the US also say "wreck havoc". I guess they weren't paying attention when heard the phrase correctly spoken.
Posters should say where they live, and for which
area they are asking questions. I have lived in
Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 10 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
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David Kaye:
[nq:1](quote) Wreak is sometimes confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck:[/nq]
This may be prevalent in other countries, but in the U.S. I have never heard "wreck" used in place of "wreak". That said, the only time I see or hear the word "wreak" used is in "wreak havoc", indicating that if you have havoc it must be wreaked, and you can't wreak anything other than havoc.

I did see some writing the other day that talked about the 4th anniversary of Katrina, the storm that "reeked havoc" on New Orleans. I'm sure that in its own way part of New Orleans actually did reek after the the storm and the warm summer days.
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mm:
[nq:2](quote) Wreak is sometimes confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck:[/nq]
[nq:1]This may be prevalent in other countries, but in the U.S. I have never heard "wreck" used in place of ... "wreak havoc", indicating that if you have havoc it must be wreaked, and you can't wreak anything other than havoc.[/nq]
I read here, indirectly, that you can wreak iron. Where else would you get wrought iron?
Just kidding.
[nq:1]I did see some writing the other day that talked about the 4th anniversary of Katrina, the storm that "reeked ... in its own way part of New Orleans actually did reek after the the storm and the warm summer days.[/nq]
Posters should say where they live, and for which
area they are asking questions. I have lived in
Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 10 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
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