Lesson Twelve: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

People often bark up the wrong tree, meaning that they put the blame for something bad on someone who is not responsible at all. And whether we like it or believe it or not, many of us often make this mistake.

Barking up the wrong tree doesn’t mean that you have to shout and make a big noise. You could silently bark up the wrong tree. If you suspect that something wrong was caused by a person who is, in reality, an innocent person, you are silently barking up the wrong tree.

Before you make this mistake, try to remember that it is dangerous to live your life by assumptions. Always have firm, undeniable evidence of the truth instead jumping to a conclusion. Whereas on one hand the world may not be a perfect place, we often misjudge people who are blameless and misinterpret people who are with very well-meaning intentions.

Rewrite the paragraph above, replacing the words or phrases in bold with a suitable word or phrase from the lists below.

Bark: woof, howl, growl, snarl, yowl

Blame: responsibility, guilt, culpability, fault, blameworthiness, liability, burden

Mistake: error, oversight, misstep, slip, lapse, muddle, blunder

Shout: yell, scream, bellow, bawl, holler, roar, cry

Silently: noiselessly, mutely, without a sound, like a ghost, wordlessly

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