Or “Look at this cute puppy! Awe!” Eeks!
Same sort of cringing happens to me when I’m editing/reading a book and find this type of thing: “Hand me that make up brush, would you?” Or, perhaps “Let’s take the pick-up.” Oh, no, no, no. (grin)
So, let’s see if we can answer some questions about tricky words, shall we?
First, I know you know the correct usage of your and you’re, so we won’t start there. But sometimes I wonder, given the number of times I see “awe” where an interjection belongs, if folks know the difference between awe and the interjection, aw.
Here are some incorrect and correct uses of commonly misused words:
INCORRECT: Awe, your baby is so cute!
CORRECT: Aw, your baby is so cute!
"Awe" is a noun and means overwhelming reverence. ("Awesome" comes from this word.)
"Aw" is an interjection used to express sentiment or opinion.
The rest of these mostly speak for themselves:
INCORRECT: Let’s take the pick up.
CORRECT: Let’s take the pickup.
ALSO CORRECT: Please pick up the toys.
INCORRECT: Could you hand me that make up brush?
CORRECT: Could you hand me that makeup brush?
ALSO CORRECT: She started wearing makeup at age thirteen.
ALSO CORRECT: I’ll need you to take a make-up test.
ALSO CORRECT: That’s just part of his makeup.
INCORRECT: Could you hang onto this for me?
CORRECT: Could you hang on to this for me?
“Hang on” is its own phrase.
“Onto” is a preposition.
INCORRECT: Don’t give into the fear.
CORRECT: Don’t give in to the fear.
(same reasoning as above)
INCORRECT: Climb in to the wagon.
CORRECT: Climb into the wagon. ("Into" used as a preposition)
TIP: When deciding how to write a word or phrase, consider how it’s being used. And if there's ever a question (as in when grammar experts cannot agree), aim for clarity. Most often, your publisher's style guide will dictate final say.
For more grammar fun, let’s peek at some potentially mixed-up words, shall we? Many of these are homonyms. Test yourself. How many can you define?
Rifle and riffle.
Distain and disdain.
Hoards and hordes.
Flyer and flier.
Repelling and rappelling.
Whale (to strike) and wail (to cry). (gave you than one :)
Illude, allude, and elude.
Illusive, allusive, and elusive.
Illusion, allusion, and elusion.
Burrow and borough.
Precedence and precedents.
Immerge and emerge.
Hardy and hearty.
Complimentary and complementary.
Write on, friends!
|Her Nerdy Cowboy|
Whoever heard of a bookish cowboy? When Logan McDaniel’s brother-in-law dies, he steps in to help his beloved sister run her ranch. But what does a city boy know of herding cattle? Claire Langley loved her cousin. After he dies, she agrees to serve as a temporary nanny for two heartbroken children.
Claire and Logan find they share a love of books, and Claire can’t resist the nerdy uncle who is great with children, and who reads to her of pirate romance. Claire’s ailing mother needs her in Seattle. Can she break away? And if she does, can there ever be a future for Logan and her?
You can "buy" this $0.99 title for FREE this Lenten season by ordering from Pelican Book Group's site!
|Annette M. Irby|
Annette M. Irby has three published books and
runs her own freelance editing business, AMI Editing.
See her page here on Seriously Write for more information.
*digital photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net "mixed apple" by zirconicusso