Commonly misused words

I proof read a lot, be it my own work, or the work of fellow authors.  It’s something I’ve always loved to do. I’m a member of authonomy, I recently started a writing group, and my friends and I help each other revise schoolwork from time to time. I even find myself editing books and articles that I read for fun (my husband says I’m a nerd. ha.). I come across a lot of misused words. I have to admit, I’m guilty of a few of them occasionally, if I’m in a rush. But my high school Accelerated English teacher trained me well and there are a few that really bug me now if I happen across them: accept/except (accept is a noun meaning to take or receive,to agree or consent to,to undertake the responsibility of. except is a preposition that means “excluding” http://www.dictionary.com ), affect/effect (affect is a verb, meaning to influence, effect is a noun, and basically is a result) and alot/a lot (a lot being the correct way of writing it).  Another one I see quite a bit is their/there/they’re. I use this sentence when I try to explain it to someone: They’re (they are)going there(a place) in their(possessive form of they) vehicle.  I think I learned that in English class, too. 🙂 I found a list of the most commonly misused words on Writer’s Web. The list gives the meaning and correct use of each word. Check it out.  You might learn something. There was one on there that I didn’t know, complement/compliment. Complement is something that completes, whereas compliment is praise. I knew the different meanings, I just didn’t realize it was spelled differently.  Even if you feel you already know the meaning of words, it doesn’t hurt to review from time to time.  Sometimes I still refer to lists and books to double check when I’m not sure. My favorite book to use is  Writer’s Inc, but there are a lot of options out  there.   I also use proof reader’s marks like the ones in the chart below while I’m editing (I like to print stuff out to edit it) and I usually go over the document I’m working on two or three times at least. Whether you’re writing for an assignment or you’re writing in hopes of being published, you want to make sure your work is at its best. I hope you find these tips helpful 🙂 Happy writing!

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Filed under editing, Fiction Writing, writing in general

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