Slingshot vs. Sling
This front page photo in yesterday's New York Times reminded me of a little pet peeve of mine. No, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a different pet peeve: people who confuse slings with slingshots. The most common manifestation of this confusion is showing or describing the Biblical character David killing Goliath with a slingshot. This is wrong. It was a sling, which is a different thing altogether.
The weapon shown in the picture above is a sling. It's the weapon David used to kill Goliath. (I wonder if the Palestinian youth is aware of the irony of using a sling against Israel.) You put a projectile in the pouch, twirl it around, and release one of the strands at the right time, sending the projectile flying at the target.
A slingshot looks like this (image from Wikipedia):
There. Now you know the difference and won't be one of those people that annoys me so much.