Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grammar is Sexy Saturday: Word Misusage

I slacked off last week and didn't upload a Grammar Is Sexy Saturday post. I know, lame. I was in the midst of editing two books and finishing up another.

The good news is I finished my manuscript(go, betas, go), finished edits for Dark Wolf Protector (novella coming soon from Cobblestone Press), and am done with the first round of edits for another(Bonded In Brazil coming soon from Camel Press). Which means I should have time for some extra cool blogging stuff for the next month or so.

Coming soon: My experiences with editors/editing. You won't want to miss this one because I'll share some of my own stupidity and make fun of myself. :)

Onto the grammar stuff!

Our English language is full of homonyms--words that sound alike. We use some of these words everyday in speech and, because they sound alike, we don't realize we're misusing them...until we actually write them down.

Below is a list of homonyms that are often misused and simple directions on how to use them correctly.

Accept/Except: Accept is to receive. You accept a gift. Except is to exclude. You like all flavors of ice cream except vanilla.

Affect/Effect: Affect is to influence. A cranky baby affects my mood. Effect is a result. The anti-depressant is working, but she has awful side effects. Effect can also be used as a verb, meaning to produce. The new manager plans to effect change in his department.

Emigrate/Immigrate: Emigrate is to leave one country and move to another. Immigrate means to leave one's country and reside in another. Ha. There's a fine line here, and you're probably shaking your head. Uh, what's the dif? Emigrate is to act of leaving a home country. Immigrate is the act of entering a new country in which you plan to reside. Em=out. Im=in.

Allowed/Aloud: Allowed means permitted. Aloud means spoken (out loud).

Ascent/Assent: Ascent refers to a climb. Assent is to agree.

Your/You're: Your is the possessive form; you're means you are.

Their/There/They're: Their is the possessive form; there indicates a place; they're means they are.


Might've/Must've: <-- Say these words aloud. I know they sound like might of and must of, but they're not. Might've is might have. Must've is must have.

There are many, many more examples, but the above are homonyms I see misused all the time--I've done it myself!

You don't have to memorize all their spellings/meanings, but be aware so that you can double check your usage of them while editing.

What words--homonyms or otherwise--do you commonly misuse?

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