phantom vs fathom : Common Errors in English

About phantom vs fathom

Brianna exclaims confusedly, “I can’t phantom why he thought I’d want a coupon for an oil change for Valentine’s Day!” A phantom is a ghost, but a fathom is a nautical measure of depth. When you can’t understand something—being unable to get to the bottom of it—you should say “I can’t fathom it.” “Phantom” is not a verb.

phantom Meaning(s)

  • (n) a ghostly appearing figure
  • (n) something existing in perception only
  • (s) something apparently sensed but having no physical reality

fathom Meaning(s)

  • (n) a linear unit of measurement (equal to 6 feet) for water depth
  • (n) (mining) a unit of volume (equal to 6 cubic feet) used in measuring bodies of ore
  • (v) come to understand
  • (v) measure the depth of (a body of water) with a sounding line

phantom in News


    ?12 JUN 2013 Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has explained that The Phantom Pain will be less like films than previous games, and more like a television show.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: IGN Guides

  2. 2013 NBA Playoffs Phantom Cam Highlights

    This slow-mo Phantom Cam highlight video of the 2013 NBA Playoffs from the NBA's YouTube Channel is jaw-dropping.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Bleacher Report

  3. Phantom Jet continues to honor vets

    It's been 20 years since the F-4 Phantom jet arrived in Marshalltown on its mission to honor veterans and inspire young people to join the military.
    on June 10, 2013 Source: Marshalltown Times-Republican

fathom in News

  1. Joe Biden Can't Believe Republicans Listen to 'Two Freshman Senators'

    Joe Biden went full Biden at a fundraiser for Democratic Representative Ed Markey tonight, covering everything from gun control to Al Gore to the "two freshman senators" that he just can't fathom anyone is really listening to.         
    on June 12, 2013 Source: The Atlantic Wire

  2. A Mirror That’s A Touching Tribute To Sandy Victims

    Joe Doucet’s Fathom creates the effect of being half underwater. When Hurricane Sandy unleashed its wrath on the Eastern Seaboard last October, designer Joe Doucet ’s lower Manhattan studio and apartment were left relatively unscathed. “Apart from being without power for a week or so, we really were very fortunate,” he says. Jean Lin and Jennifer Krichels of Reclaim NYC organized an auction ...
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Fast Company Magazine

  3. The Original NSA Whistleblower Says The Government Is Lying About Not Collecting Your Data

    It's hard to fathom many of the shocking claims from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden of vast government surveillance — such as the notion that the agency constantly intercepts millions of phone calls and emails with the help of telecommunication companies.
    on June 10, 2013 Source: Business Insider

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