Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

plague – an epidemic disease; a disastrous evil or affliction

The flu is quickly becoming a plague.

plaque – a decorative tablet that honors someone or commemorates something

He received a plaque to commemorate his 10th anniversary at the firm.

Memory tips:

  • plague – A disease usually makes your tongue feel weird or coated, so I would remember the word plague having to do with your tongue.
  • plaque – A plaque you put on the wall will make people question how you earned it, so remember that a plaque will make people question.

Replay Thursday

Thursday ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past week.

Grammar Giggle – What Year Is It?

Grammar Giggle – Commuting

Confusing Words Of The Week

Grammar Giggle – State of Uniom

Busy Is As Busy Does . . . Or Not?

Confusing Words Of The Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

discreet – prudent

She was discreet about the secret her friend shared with her.

discrete – distinct; separate

The book had a discrete section on citations.

Memory tips:

discreet – think of the ee as eyes seeing something that shouldn’t be posted on the internet or something that you have to be discreet about.

discrete is separate – both end in te

 

Legal Grammar In The News

In The NewsI saw an interesting article recently that I thought I would share with you. It is an Above the Law article entitled “Lawyer’s Pleadings Are So Bad that Judge Orders Future Filings Must Be Reviewed By English Teacher.” (https://abovethelaw.com/2018/01/lawyers-pleadings-are-so-bad-that-judge-orders-future-filings-must-be-reviewed-by-english-teacher/) Here are the lessons I took from this article:

  • Judges DO care about proper grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and that the document makes sense.
  • Headings matter. If the heading has nothing to do with the following paragraph(s), it is of no use to anyone and shouldn’t be there. Headings are helpful to direct the reader to the areas of the document that you want them to find easily.
  • Formatting makes a difference. To have a judge call your document an “eyesore” is not good.
  • Getting an order requiring you to have an English teacher certify that the pleading was reviewed and approved and that the certification is included in the filing is embarrassing–and probably career-changing, particularly when the suit was dismissed and I assume his malpractice insurer has been alerted.

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Shown – displayed; revealed; past participle of show

The results had shown that their efforts were successful.

Shone – gave off light; did shine

The light shone directly in her eyes.

So what memory trick can we use to help remember these?

Shown is showing off something that you own.

Shone means did shine so it’s a change of one letter.

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

flack – (n.) one who provides publicity; (v.) to provide publicity

  • The press agent was called a flack.

flak – literally, debris from exploding antiaircraft shells; criticism

  • He took a lot of flak for his political stance.

Memory Tips:

I think I would remember that since flack deals with publicity, and publicity reminds me of paparazzi, which is like a flock of birds pecking at a celebrity, that I would change one letter in flock to make it flack.

Since flak isn’t dealing with publicity, it isn’t related to a flock, so doesn’t need the c.

 

Replay Thursday

Thursday ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog and 60 Is The New 60 blog during the past couple of weeks.

Grammar Giggle – Worn

Grammar Giggle – Close Profanity

Confusing Words of the Week

Step Away From The Buffet Line!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Grammar Giggle – Forty’s and 70s

Grammar Giggle – Phoenix or Pheonix?

Confusing Words of the Week

Replay Thursday

Thursday ReplayIt’s time for a review of recent blog posts just in case you’ve missed them. We call this Replay Thursday. Here are posts from Proof That proofreading blog during the past week.

Grammar Giggle – Discriminiation

Grammar Giggle – Sex Clams

Confusing Words of the Week

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

RandomThoughtsHere are a few things that I’ve come across lately and thought you might find interesting:

  1. Publically or Publicly? I changed the spelling of “publically” in a document recently and was told that it was a correct alternative spelling and to leave it that way. So I’ve researched it a little bit. It appears “publically” is gaining in popularity, but the majority still favors “publicly” as the correct spelling.
  2. Preventive or Preventative? According to Dictionary.com, the definitions are:

Preventive:

A. Medicine/Medical. Of or noting a drug, vaccine, etc., for preventing disease; prophylactic.

B. serving to prevent or hinder: preventive measures.

Preventative (actually refers you back to Preventive):

A. Medicine/Medical. of or noting a drug, vaccine, etc., for preventing disease; prophylactic.

B. serving to prevent or hinder: preventive measures.

Yep, they are the same. “Preventive” has been used in writings much longer, but “preventative” is gaining ground. “Preventative” is used more frequently outside the United States, while “preventive” is used more here in the U.S., so either is correct.

  1. Various different. I saw this recently in something I was proofreading. Unfortunately, both words mean the same thing. Again, according to Dictionary.com, “various” means: “of different kinds, as two or more things; differing one from another” while one of the definitions of “different” is: “various; several.” So in this case, pick one. Use either “various” or “different,” but not both of them together.
  1. Coming down the pipe or pike? This question was raised to me recently. It looks like “coming down the pike” is the original idiom from back when the “pike” was shortened from “turnpike.” However, “coming down the pipe” is gaining in popularity, because lots of things come down a pipe. Since “turnpikes” have fallen out of common language in favor of “freeway,” more people understand “pipe.” So the more common version in today’s lingo is “coming down the pipe.”
  1. Postliminary. I had this word come up in something I was proofreading recently. Since I hadn’t heard that word before, I looked it up. Merriam-Webster defines it as: done or carried on after something else or as a conclusion; subsequent —opposed to preliminary. While I’m not sure it is a great replacement for “after,” I kind of like it. So you will have preliminary, main, and postliminary.
  1. Thank-you. I’ve seen this word hyphenated before and just thought, without a doubt, that it was wrong. Someone told me recently it is correct. Apparently, it IS correct. Merriam-Webster online defines “thank-you” as “a polite expression of one’s gratitude.” Grammar Girl even says “thank-you” can be used as a noun or an adjective. However, when I search for “thank-you” on Google, the vast majority of the returns are not hyphenated. I believe I’ll stick with the unhyphenated version.
  1. Myriad of. “Myriad” is defined by Dictionary.com as “a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things.” People say that since “myriad” originally meant 10,000 and you wouldn’t say “a 10,000 of trees,” that saying “a myriad of” is incorrect. However, common practice is to use “myriad” as both a noun and as a adjective, so it is becoming more commonplace to say “a myriad of.” Personally, I prefer “myriad” all by its little lonely self, and have corrected it myriad times (see what I did there?). But if the author insists, “a myriad of” is not incorrect.

Well that’s my list of petty annoyances that I’ve been keeping lately. Do you have any petty annoyances you’d like to share? Email those to me at proofthatblog@gmail.com.

Confusing Words of the Week

It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Elicit – to draw forth

  • He was trying to elicit a confession from his son.

Illicit – Unlawful

  • Stealing a car is an illicit act.

Tips to help remember:

Illicit – Illegal

Elicit – think of the legs of the “e” as trying to pull something out of the “back” of the “e”