Part of the fun I’ve been having this week is reading through some client documents. And, while I am not reviewing them for word usage (I kind of wish I were so I could fix these issues), it has once again reminded me that some people just should not use big words. Or should look up the definition of every word they use that is more than one syllable.
(Yes, that wasn’t nice. And yes, I am far from perfect and will probably screw up a word in this post as some form of cosmic justice. But, still.)
So, today’s additions to the words that get confused are:– initialed vs. initialized – elicit vs. illicit – lest vs. least – compliant vs. complaint
And a couple from the comments on the last post about this (thanks Keri!):– alter vs. altar – capitol vs. capital
Rather than force you to track down the four prior posts I’ve made on this subject. (Seems it’s a bit of a hot button topic for me.) I have compiled the prior lists into one handy-dandy list below. Enjoy!Typo Issues – applies vs. apples – are vs. Area – house vs. horse – of vs. off – tot vs. to Word Confusion – ball vs. bawl – bizarre vs. bazaar – board vs. bored – brake vs. break – cannon vs. canon – dear vs. deer – desert vs. dessert – dual vs. duel – forth vs. fourth – grate vs. great – leek vs. leak – nosy vs. noisy – not vs. naught vs. knot – pails vs. pales – peak vs. peek – pore vs. pour – quite vs. quiet – ridicules vs. ridiculous – sheath vs. sheaf – shutter vs. shudder – symbol vs. cymbal – versus vs. verses – waive vs. wave – won vs. one – write vs. right
This, of course, is in addition to all the basics of there/they’re/their, to/too, its/it’s, etc., etc.
(And one thing I do love about WordPress is that it does check for word confusion in addition to misspellings.)
I also occasionally sigh at the apparent lack of editing time spent on other people’s work.
I am not without my own typos: I frequently type form instead of from; however I am aware that I do mistype so I review for errors before treating a document as complete.
I get especially annoyed with on-line news sites, because I think they have a responsibility to use the right words. Hence my annoyance with Yahoo!’s continual confusion of dual and duel.
Funny you should mention “from” vs. “form.” I had a sentence in that post that used both and I kept re-reading it thinking I’d messed one of them up.
And I can still review a document and miss things. I had sheaf for sheath in my manuscript for the first four drafts or so.
I have two theories on where the laxity originates; channelling a curmudgeonly persona they are both related to technology.
(1) Instant messaging really values speed over style, so has trained a generation to write quickly rather than well.
(2) Spell-checkers have so many settings (the WordPress proofreader being an example) that many people have a false sense that they catch all the errors.
Agreed on both. I think this “quick” vs. “quality” issue is also why so many of the on-line news sites get words wrong. To me, it’s their frickin’ job to get it right, but I had a friend who worked for the on-line arm of a major newspaper and was fired for not publishing articles fast enough.
It’s hard to be quick and good.