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:

principal: chief; leading; a capital sum of money that draws interest; chief official of a school

principle: a general truth; a rule; integrity

Helpers:

PrinciPAL is your PAL and has ALl the money

PrincipLE is a ruLE

Grammar Giggle – Give Her Some Grammar Skills

I saw this recently in the Mall food court. It took me three tries to figure out what they meant. It would be clearer if they had said “She deserves the best. Now mom can give her her best.” Or better yet, make up a name “Mary deserves the best. Now mom can give Mary her best.”

Happy Blogiversary!

As hard as it is for me to believe, this labor of love has been going for five years today! What have I learned in those five years? 
1. That blogging isn’t easy.

2. That people actually read the blog.

3. That people around the world find Proof That blog by interesting Google searches.

4. That talking to people who read it and have ideas for topics is super rewarding.

5. That something I kind of started on a whim is now a passion.

For all those things, I thank you, my faithful readers. Thank you for reaching out with potential topics or with your own Grammar Giggles (and please keep them coming!). Thank you for stopping me when you see me at a conference or online to let me know you’re reading and getting something useful out if it. Most of all, thank you for continuing to read, for gently correcting me when I screw up, and for giving me faith that I just might be making a difference in this big ole world. 

So happy 5th blogiversary to everyone who has subscribed, stumbled upon, and shared this blog with others. You are why we keep doing what needs to get done. 

Grammar Giggle – U.S. Marnies

This was sent to me and, if true, is heartbreaking to me. This isn’t that difficult. I have the utmost respect for our armed forces so seeing this kind of an error is harder to see than most.

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:

council – an assembly

counsel – (n) an attorney; advice; (v) to give advice

consul – a foreign representative

Helpers:

Council – reminds me of a City council so the “cIl” at the end could stand for “cIty” to remind you an assembly is “council.”

Counsel – an easy (although perhaps inappropriate) way to remember this one is that an attorney “sel”ls his or her advice.

 

Grammar Giggle – Arizona Diamonadbacks

I found this when looking at the catering menu for the suites at Chase Field for an Arizona Diamondbacks game event. The one thing you always should get right is the name of the team for which you are catering food to its fans.

Song Lyric Grammar Errors . . . or Not?

Apparently the Princeton Review (which helps US students prepare for college admission tests) had an example of “Grammar in Real Life” using some song lyrics for students to find the errors. One of those examples was Taylor Swift’s song Fifteen. The Princeton Review said the lyric read “Somebody tells you they love you, you got to believe ’em.” A Swift fan was upset and posted a copy of the test page online. Taylor herself replied that they got the lyric wrong “Not the right lyrics at all pssshhhh. You had one job, test people. One job.” and that the correct lyric was “Somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them.” Princeton Review owned up to that error, but posted that the revised line still had a grammar error because “somebody” can’t later be referred to as “them.” “If we look at the whole sentence, it starts off with ‘somebody,’ and ‘somebody,’ as you know, is a singular pronoun and if it’s singular, the rest of the sentence has to be singular.” They apparently forgot, however, that “them” is a gender-neutral, singular pronoun that has been used that way since the 16th Century. So that sentence is actually grammatically correct. Go Taylor!

The same Princeton Review test referenced a Lady Gaga song saying the lyric “You and me could write a bad romance” is grammatically incorrect. OK, you’re correct there. In formal writing, it should be “you and I” EXCEPT song lyrics are not formal writing and “you and me” is what people say all the time, so it is acceptable in what we will call “musical speech.” Go Gaga!

It is admirable for Princeton Review to attempt to test grammar using real life examples, but they need to make sure their answer is correct first.

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 Ask PTB or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Cite (v) – to quote; to summon

Sight – a view; vision

Site – a place

Tips to help you remember the difference:

Cite is related to citation. It is quoting case material.

Sight is seeing with your eyes

Site is a place. Let’s say IT is a place.