…gghhhhh!” Okay, heh, sorry, I’m ready now. This week the Grammar Cop deviates a bit from her usual scenario of three-gaffes-and-three-corrections, just for a change. She is soooo tired of seeing the same word confusion over and over again.
Here are a few examples, seen lately:
Palate – Pallet – Palette – Pellet
Palate – roof of mouth
Pallet – makeshift bed often of straw, often on floor
Palette – artist’s wooden board holding array of paint colours
Pellet – I threw this in just for fun!
Flair – Flare
Seen in a real-estate ad describing a house with a “flare” of art deco. Should be flair.
Reign – Rein
It never ceases to amaze me how often this comes up, usually in the phrase “free reign.” Which should be free rein. Why? Well, clever readers who just know it, plus those who have come to know it as a result of a slew of Friday Follies posts alluding to this blooper, can tell you it’s because the phrase refers to a horse being given free rein, i.e. allowed to roam free, or at least with the rider holding the reins very loosely. Which leads me to…
Loose – Lose
This spelling mistake is rampant on the byways of the Internet. I can guess where the misunderstanding comes from: In the perpetrator’s mind, since the word “lose” is pronounced the same as “choose” – it should therefore contain two o‘s. But it doesn’t! We won’t get into the reasons for this. Suffice to say that lose and choose are two completely different words: Look at their spellings in the past tense: lost and either chose (the o in chose is pronounced like the o in alone, e.g. She chose the soprano part.) or chosen (e.g. The soprano part was chosen for her).
Advice – Advise
Another Internet villain. Advice is what you give someone when you advise them about something. Advice is the noun; advise is the verb.
Its – It’s
I’m still encountering this abominable flub in newspapers and online, including yes, in some bloggers’ posts. (Not counting any commenters below, of course! 😀 )
Its = possessive: The cat chased its tail.
It’s = contraction for it is: It’s a cloudy day.
The Grammar Cop is giving herself free reign for the coming weekend and hopes her readers will take her advise: you can’t loose! 😀