Monday, September 14, 2009

Writing Pet Peeve #10 - Using the Wrong Word

I've got a whole list of these that I've developed over time from beta reading. Twelve so far actually. And number 10 on the list is 'using the wrong word.' I can see it happening accidentally once in awhile, but it's when it becomes all the time that it's a problem.

Some common ones:

Then instead of than

Then = "Then he kissed me" or "I put on my socks, then my shoes."

Than = "He's older than me" or "She's a better writer than me" or "Michigan is better than Ohio State."

Their, they're and there

Their = "Their hair is brown" or "That is their parent's house."

There = "Go over there" or "There we found the skull."

They're = "They're going to get it trouble." [Hint: if you're not sure, break it down into 'they are'. If 'they are' fits, then 'they're' is the correct words. This also works for other contractions like 'you're' and 'it's'.]

Quite and quiet [I catch myself doing this one all the time by accident.]

Quite = "Are you quite sure?"

Quiet = "She's been very quiet lately."

Its and It's

It's = "It's a quiet night."

Its = "This video game is not worth its price."

I just found this brilliant list of commonly mixed up words as well. So if you have this problem, don't worry, it's common. Just make sure when you edit that you check and make sure all the words are correctly used. And try to train yourself to use the right one the first time. It's possible.


VĂ©ro said...

I am notorious with then and than and it's and its. Depending on which version of my MS I gave you, you may run into a crapload of them! Sorry! :)

Becca Cooper said...

Desert and dessert are common ones for me.

Right and write.

Fine and finance. (What can I say? My fingers have a mind of their own sometimes.) XD

CupofDice said...

It's and its use to be my problem, but now I just get them.