Grammar Giggle – Gas Pumps and Every Possible Grammar Error

There are so many errors in this one sign I don’t think I could even get through them all. There are apostrophes used to make words plural, not enough periods, words that should be a single word divided into two words, capital letters where there doesn’t need to be or a small letter (if you want to be consistent) where a capital letter should be, misspellings . . . and my brain has now exploded.

Grammar Giggle – Take a Peak At This

This was on a recent local news station. There is a difference between peak, peek, and pique. Peak is the top, peek is to look slyly at, and pique is resentment or to offend. Obviously, they did not mean that the top is inside the Phoenix Amazon Fulfillment Center, they meant to look inside the Phoenix Amazon Fulfillment Center.

 

News

Grammar Giggle – The Pilgrims, Then, and Than

I found this one on Google. Unfortunately, I can believe that someone at the History Channel made this error because lots of people do. I even made it in a post once and even admitted it (here). But really. then and than are not that difficult. Then has an element of time (and then and time both have the letter “e”). Than refers to a comparison (and than and comparison both have the letter “a”). So now that you know better, here is day 2 of Thanksgiving Grammar Giggles.

Thanksgiving Tuesday

Grammar Giggles – Yum, Desert . . . I Mean Dessert . . . I Mean Something Sweet to End a Meal

This picture is from my last trip to one of my favorite restaurants. There IS a difference! I live in the DESERT and I love to eat DESSERT.

Lolos menu

Grammar Giggle – No Job Too Big, Too Small, or To Be Done Correctly

This one comes from Twitter. The confusion between to, too, and two is high, but signmakers need to do more than use the “that’s the way they gave it to me” excuse. Between a few people, one can hope that someone would get it right. Then again . . .

lawn service2

Quick Confusing Words – Kitty-corner or Catty-corner? Onto or on to?

Here are just a couple of quickies that don’t really warrant an entire blog post, but where readers have requested clarification.

1. Kitty corner or catty corner? According to Merriam-Webster Online, kitty-corner is used to describe two things that are located across from each other on opposite corners. Variants of kitty-corner are both catercorner and catty-corner. Which word you use could be determined by where you live. Those in the northeast part of the country use kitty-corner most often and those in the southeast part of the country use catty-corner. This website has a map based on a dialect survey that is interesting for this issue – http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_76.html. Basically, all three forms are correct, but catercorner and catty-corner are derivatives of the more popular katty-corner.

2. Onto or on to. Onto is a preposition describing the direction of something moving toward a surface. A trick that you can use is to check to see if on can replace onto.

She climbed onto her car.

In this sentence, onto is correct because “She climbed on her car” makes sense. On the other hand, if you left someone something in your will, you would not say “I passed my grandfather’s pocket watch on him,” so that sentence should be:

I passed my grandfather’s pocket watch on to him.

Let me know if you have something you struggle with. Chances are that it isn’t just you and others can benefit from a blog post about that very topic. Comment below or email proofthatblog@gmail.com.

 

The Effect Of The Confusion Of When To Use Affect And Effect Is Affecting My Brain

Affect v EffectI had a request to write about affect and effect. Since I’ve had trouble with those words in the past myself, I completely understand how confusing they are! Dictonary.com defines affect as a verb (used with an object) meaning:

  • to act on; produce an effect or change in:

Cold weather affected the crops.

  • to impress the mind or move the feelings of:

The music affected him deeply.

  • to give the appearance of; pretend or feign:

to affect knowledge of the situation.

  • to assume artificially, pretentiously, or for effect:

to affect a Southern accent.”

It is also defined as a noun meaning feeling or emotion.

Effect is defined as a noun:

  • something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence:

Exposure to the sun had the effect of toughening his skin.

  • power to produce results; efficacy; force; validity; influence:

His protest had no effect.

And as a verb (used with object):

  • to produce as an effect; bring about; accomplish; make happen:

The new machines finally effected the transition to computerized accounting last spring.

So what does that mean really? Affect is usually used as a verb to mean to influence or change. Effect is either used as a verb meaning to bring about or as a noun meaning the result or impression. Which would you choose when you hear “The wine didn’t have quite the affect/effect she was hoping for”? Some of these are so close that either could be correct, so you need to dig just a little bit deeper. First, you need to decide if it is a verb (an action word) or a noun (the name of a person, place, object, idea, quality, or activity). “The wine didn’t have quite the [action] she was hoping for.” So the verb definitions are affect to influence or change and effect to bring about. Would you say “The wine didn’t have quite the influence or change she was hoping for” or “The wine didn’t have quite the bring about she was hoping for.” The correct word is affect.

“The new paralegal was affecting/effecting the morale in the office.” The paralegal was creating an action on the morale in the office so was the new paralegal influencing or changing (affecting) the morale or was he bringing about (effecting) the morale? It should be affecting.

“The uncertainty in the legal market affected/effected attendance at the conference.” The uncertainty influenced or changed the attendance or the uncertainty brought about the attendance? Here, it would be affected.

One more for good measure: “The ruling in this case will affect/effect future door-to-door sales.” Will the ruling influence or change sales or will the ruling bring about sales? This should be affect.

We’ve done some practice with affect/effect as verbs, let’s try one as a noun. “The affect/effect of the storm damage won’t be known for some time.” Is it the feeling or emotion of the storm damage that won’t be known or is it the result of the storm damage that won’t be known? It should be effect.

These two words are very confusing. If it will help, copy the chart below and keep it at your desk for a quick reference:
Affect Effect

Grammar Giggles – Porcelian . . . Porcel . . . Tile

While dragged along to Home Depot recently, I saw this sign. Then I saw several others for the same type of tile that were spelled the same. At least they were consistent (and consistency is important)!

 

Home Depot