Know Your Words

It’s time for another post on how spellcheck does not always work.

Especially when you use a word that looks right but means something else.

SlushPile Hell put up a good example on August 27th.  Sadly, it took me looking at it twice before I processed what was wrong.

DO NOT start your query with “Deer Agent.”

See, the first time I read that on SlushPile Hell I thought the issue was the unpersonalized, generic use of “agent.”  But no….It was the use of “deer” instead of “dear.”  Unless Bambi’s descendents have decided to abandon the forest and take up real jobs, that’s the wrong word to use.  (Or unless the querier is a deer…hmmm.  Perhaps.)

(I hope you all knew the difference between deer and dear already.  If you didn’t then now you do.)

Another one I saw on Facebook yesterday: Leek vs. leak.

(Hint: One is an edible plant.  You cannot leek a substance out of your body.  And, really, you shouldn’t post on Facebook about leaking anything out of any part of your body. Ew.  TMI, buddy.)

A few others I’ve seen around recently:

dual vs. duel
quite vs. quiet
symbol vs. cymbal
pails vs. pales
forth vs. fourth

(That last one is one I wrote down because I realized it would be an easy mistake to make when I used fourth in a blog post the other day.  At least I hope I did.  If I used forth instead, well, we are all human.)

(Speaking of, somewhere in my book I used house instead of horse.  My mother found it very entertaining to point out to me.  If you want to avoid awkward moments where you try not to glare daggers at someone who is helping you while they mock you for the slightest error, read your work very carefully.  Of course, that particular error made it through at least three reads by me.  Grrr.)

For prior posts on this, see here, here, or here.  (I thought I only had one on this, but turns out I had three.  Who knew?)

(And one more for the road courtesy of WordPress: knew vs. new)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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1 Response to Know Your Words

  1. Some of the ones on your list are things I’ve never thought of. I wonder how many times I’ve made those mistakes! I always judge the incorrect “you’re/your” but “forth/fourth” is something that I’ve probably accidentally done before!

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