Grammar Giggles – Teachers, Teacher’s, Teachers’

Apparently, according to this news story, only one teacher across the nation is striking. That is because they made the singular word teacher possessive by adding apostrophe “s” rather than making the plural word teachers possessive by just adding an apostrophe. It seems that a strike would be so much more effective if multiple teachers across this great nation were involved.

Teacher's Strike

We Appreciate Proofreading Tips Each and Everyday.

Use of the phrase each and every is really duplicative. Each really means the same thing as every. They both mean “a single thing.” You should use either one of those words but not both of them together:

  • Jeff brings his lunch every day.
  • They clocked in each day at 8:00 a.m.
  • Each worker worked 50 hours last week.
  • Every car in the lot was stuck in the snow.

Another issue people seem to have is every day and everyday. Everyday means commonplace or ordinary as in an everyday occurrence.

  • Cooking dinner is an everyday occurrence in my house.

Every day means something that happens every single day or each day. In fact, if you can add the word single between every and day or replace every day with each day, then every day should be two words. If not, then you use everyday.

  • She stopped at Starbucks every [single] day.
  • The chaos of getting ready for school with five siblings was an everyday occurrence. [you cannot replace everyday with each day so it is one word]
  • Her Starbucks stop was an everyday habit.
  • Someone was crying every [single] day while getting ready for school.

So here’s hoping writers will stop using “each and every” and practice adding single or replacing with each day to determine the proper usage of every day v. everyday. One can hope!

I am preparing every day for a two week vacation. In my absence, a fellow proofreading “nerd” (and I use that term lovingly) will guest blog. Kerie is amazing and brilliant and I’m sure will post great content. Please be gentle and supportive and I will pick up when I return. Ciao!

Grammar Giggle – Which Left?

One of my bosses shared this picture with me. They tell you the accident is in the left lane and then give you instructions to keep left, which common sense would tell you would make you go even slower. To make matters worse, the accident was actually in the RIGHT lane. Oh, ADOT, please try harder to get it right!

Crash

More Confusing Words!

In a post last year, we went over some words that seem to confuse a lot of people. Today, we will look at a few more.

Adapt – to adjust to something. He will adapt to living in a new state.

Adept – proficient. She was adept at crocheting.

Adopt – to choose. They will adopt the more frugal lifestyle.

 

Adverse – harmful; hostile. The counsel was particularly adverse on that issue.

Averse – opposed to. She was averse to the alcohol at every meeting.

 

Advice – information; recommendation. The advice of the lawyer was to pay the fine.

Advise – to recommend; to give counsel. The lawyer advised her to gather all her documentation.

 

Already – previously. She had already been to Barcelona.

All ready – all prepared. But she was all ready to go to Cannes.

 

Alternate – substitute; to take turns. He was the alternate on the firm’s bowling league.

Alternative – one of several things from which to choose. She chose the pink purse as an alternative to the black purse, which was out of stock.

 

Anyone – anybody. He said that anyone could do her job.

Any one – Any one person in a group. Any one of them could have answered the phone.

 

Beside – by the side of; separate from. The dog was well trained and walked beside him when he was on the leash.

Besides – in addition to; also. Besides the insurance benefits, the new job also offered a profit sharing plan.

 

Born – brought into life. The baby was born on February 29.

Borne – carried; endured. The weight of the box was borne equally by the two men.

 

Breach – a breaking; a violation. By accepting her business, there was a breach of his contract.

Breech – the hind end of the body. The baby was born breech first.

 

Breath – respiration. She could not catch her breath after running from the building.

Breathe – to inhale and exhale. It was difficult to breathe with the smoke in the air.

 

Broach –to open; to introduce. He was afraid to broach the subject of a raise with his boss.

Brooch – ornament. Her grandmother’s brooch was definitely an antique.

 

Cannot – usual form meaning to be unable. He cannot lift 50 pounds.

Can not – two words in the phrase “can not only” (where “can” means “to be able”). She can not only play soccer, but she also plays softball.

 

Canvas – a course cloth. The tent was made of canvas.

Canvass – to solicit. The volunteers for the mayoral candidate canvassed the neighborhood asking for donations.

 

Caret – a wedge shaped mark. Some of the Latin capital letters have a caret over them.

Carat – a unit of weight for precious stones. She had a two carat diamond in her wedding ring.

Karat – A unit of fineness for gold. His ring was 14 karat gold.

 

I hope you learned something from this list. We will go into even more confusing words in another post.

If you have words that confuse you or have another question that you come across while proofreading, please email proofthatblog@gmail.com.

 

 

Grammar Giggle – Starbucks _ _ _ _ _ (Fill in the Blank)

Proofreading isn’t only important on paper and it isn’t only spelling. It’s making sure the functionality of whatever you are putting your work on doesn’t accidentally change what you say–sometimes to fairly disastrous consequences. As much as it pains me to share this picture because of my love of Starbucks, it does illustrate an important point.

Starbucks

Search and Replace or Search and Destroy

We all know that word processing software comes with many useful features. There is a danger, however, in depending too much on the software. Here are some examples:

  • Spell check. As I’ve mentioned before, spell check absolutely has its uses, but is not the only (or necessarily the best) proofreading method. One example I’ve given before is “doe snot” instead of “does not.” They are both spelled correctly, but one is definitely not correct. Do not rely exclusively on spell check.
  • Grammar check. This feature is useful for catching some issues, but cannot possibly be accurate with every grammar resource, so be careful not to just accept all of the software’s “advice.”

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  • Search and replace. While this certainly has its place in searching and replacing something like a misspelled name, you must be very careful using global search and replace. Think about the danger–say you wanted to search for the word “plain” and replace it with the word “normal.” The issue appears where other words might contain the search term. For instance, in this case, if your document included the word “plaintiff,” the global search and replace would change that word to “normaltiff.” While entertaining, that is obviously not correct. If you want to use search and replace, you should review the suggested replacements before they are made.

These suggestions may not make your writing easier, but it should help you be more accurate from the beginning of the process.