What’s Wrong With This Phrase?

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In describing one of the contestants (I think it was Wolfgang Puck) on Iron Chef America, Alton Brown said the chef was always "reinventing new ingredients."

Anything wrong with that expression?

A couple of things are off here. 

For one, you can’t reinvent something that’s new; you can only invent something that’s new.  For another, you can’t invent food ingredients unless you cross-pollinate or cross-breed or somehing like that, which is not what Brown meant.  You can certainly discover new ingredients, maybe, if no one else has discovered them yet.

What Brown meant, however, was that Puck was always "creating new dishes" or "inventing new recipes." 

See how easily it is to misuse English.

Now, that being said, I’m probably the only person in the universe who perked up his ears (no mean feat) when he heard "reinventing new ingredients."  I’m sure it just went sailing merrily by the bulk of the viewers.

Categories: Grammar Sucks

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