A reader asked PTB “In the phrase ‘found guilty of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child’ should ‘Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child’ use all initial caps?”
While my first instinct was that since it is the name of a criminal act under the law, it would be capitalized, when I checked on the criminal statutes of various states, they are not capitalized. I would treat it exactly as it is treated in the statute and not capitalize any of those words.
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!
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.
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.
A friend snapped this picture and sent it to me. I realize that English is probably not the owner’s first language, but when you are advertising in English, someone should make sure things are correct.
I went to lunch recently and saw this menu. While the proper version is “house-made,” which means something is prepared in the establishment in which it is sold, while “homemade” is something made in a home. In other words, it appears three different ways–including the correct way–all on one page. And the original error I found was “quinoa” misspelled one line below where it is spelled correctly.
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.