The Grammar Cop has returned fresh from the trenches of the media’s dictionary wars. I can tell you this – confusion runs rampant.
What confusion? Check out these pairs. Are you guilty of improper switcheroos?
- Affect – effect: The rain affected their tennis match. The effect of the rain on their tennis match was unfortunate – it was cancelled. Naturally! You can’t run and slip on the wet court and then sue the USTA. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t necessarily effect (bring about) a win in a court of law.
- Incredulous – incredible: She was incredulous regarding the cancelled tennis match! Such things rarely happened, she found it rather incredible! I mean, she took the day off work especially for this. Grrrr!
- Reign – rein – rain: Okay, the damn rain just wasn’t stopping! If only they could rein it in, make it stop! Wetness reigned over all, it was King of the Court today. (Sob!)
- Infer – imply: From the wet puddles on the court, she inferred that it was raining. She was really smart that way. Why, even back in Kindergarten, her teacher implied that she was a genius, telling her mother that Suzie could count to ten without a glitch.
And what offences (Can. spelling!) really bug you?