I caught this one on a recent trip to Norfolk for our conference. Yet another misuse of an apostrophe. Apostrophes do not always make a word plural!
I caught this on my favorite nightly news station. Since I was listening to the story, I can tell you that the word they wanted was “soldier.”
t’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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they may appear here soon!
This week’s words are:
“Compliment” – an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration
- “She paid me an enormous compliment on my dress.”
“Complement” is something that completes or makes perfect
- “A good wine is a complement to a good meal.”
A complIment is something I like to hear.
A COMPLEment COMPLEtes something.
This was in an email I received. Because I live near Phoenix and work there, I noticed this right away. I also noticed that it is right in four other places and wrong in the very first line.
My brother sent me this one. I loved this drive in theater and spent many a date night there . . . but enough about that. There were so many errors in these two sentences. Here are my edits to it:
- “Opened” should not be capitalized. There is a comma right ahead of it, so I’m assuming it is a continuation of the same sentence and part of a series.
- Naming a decade is done as “the 1940s,” “the forties,” or the “the ’40s.”
- “It’s” means “it is.”
- “Til” I’m assuming is some kind of abbreviation for “until,” although it isn’t correct unless it begins with an apostrophe indicating that “un” is missing–’til.
Today I’m spending time with my family, but I wanted to take a minute to let you all know that again this year, I am extremely grateful for you–the Proof That reader. Thank you for continuing to read the blog and especially thank you to those of you who send me Grammar Giggles, tell me that you learned something, or take the time to seek me out if you see me in person to let me know that you read the blog. Happy Thanksgiving!
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 email@example.com and they may appear here soon!
Rifle – to ransack and steal
- They rifled through the dresser drawers looking for valuables.
Riffle – to flip through
- I don’t like to riffle a magazine, I read it page by page.
I would probably think of “riffle” with multiple “f” as the sound a magazine or book makes when your flip the pages–the same sound over and over (we’ll use the “f” sound).
Rifle I would associate with criminals using guns, so criminals are the ones who would be ransacking and stealing.
My daughter sent this one to me. My neighbors may think they live in “close profanity” to me, but I’m pretty sure they meant to say “close proximity.”
A friend sent this one to me. It sounds like the word that should be there, but really it isn’t even close.