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February 22, 2011


Karen in Ohio

Elaine, a nun taught me that "separate" has a rat in it. That always helps me remember; hope it helps you, as well.

One of my pet peeves is the use of "lead" when it should be "led". Another is "between you and I". My English teacher also said to take out the "you", and if it made no sense to use "I" with it, use "me", instead.

Karen in St. Louis

Ah, yes, we all have our spelling challanges. Then there are those pesky subtle nuance differences in words. I'm our office's living dictionary. "How do you spell corroborate? Which is more appropriate - ensure or insure, affect or effect?" And one of my pet peeves is when someone says, "supposably." WHAT? And that other linguistic abomination: he "pled" not guilty. Keep up the good fight, Elaine. Watch out for those cinnamons. Er, I mean synonyms.


Spelling the true sign of learning. I have great feelings of concern for the texting generation and their ability to spell. And spell check has made more than one embarrassing moment. I have actually stopped reading a book due to the number of mistakes that were allowed to slip past. Great Bog. I still hide the shame of my spelling gymnastics. I should have received a perfect 10 for the way I made words flip around.


My husband intentionally misspells things on the grocery list because he knows it will drive me crazy. To get back at him, I correct the spelling, but say nothing.

Fun post, Elaine!

Elaine Viets

Karen O, I am now looking for that rat in separate. Forgot about "between you and I." That makes me grit my teeth.
Karen StL -- I was told "an affect has an effect." Didn't work.
Dana,ain't love grand?

Karen in Ohio

Elaine, you should look for "a rat".

Don't jump on the chair when you find it, you'll confuse the kitties.

Elaine Viets

A rat is is. The cats will be on the chair with me, unless that rat comes in a can.


I am so glad that someone else looks for grammar "nuances". My husband can not spell and I drive him crazy when I correct everything.

Elaine Viets

I used to proofread medical books, Kerry. I can find other people's mistakes easier than my own.


While I've certainly made my share of mistakes, too, I still feel like I've become the grammar and punctuation police. Some of the emails I receive make me crazy, including some from published writers, who don't use a comma before a name in direct address, and those that don't use any punctuation, but allow one sentence to roll into the next. I want to whip out a red pen, correct them and send them back.

Dana, my husband uses creative spelling on the shopping list, too, but I've embraced items like "cat fud."

kanji tattoos

I have to admit I was giggling all the way through this one Elaine! We all have a need for our little red pencils in this world!

storyteller Mary

Hurrah, Elaine! Your books are well written and for that I thank you.
Does anyone else practice stealth editing? My sister has watched out for witnesses for me, as I pulled out my pen and corrected errant apostrophe use on store signs.

Elaine Viets

I've seen stealth editing in library books, Mary. When I was a medical book proofreader (that's how I worked my way through college) one colleague was unable to let spelling errors pass. Betty would carefully mark them on library books.

Sara Berger

I really hate finding someone's corrections in library books. They are public, not private property and should not be defaced.

Elaine Viets

You are right, Sara. They bother, me, too. But for true proofreaders, correcting typos is a compulsion. They cannot help themselves.

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