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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Common Errors

EC editors keep lists of the most common errors, things they regularly correct in the books they work on. Here are some items that hit the top of editor checklists, we encourage you to put them on your own proofreading checklist.

Homonyms:

aid / aide
aisle / isle
baited / bated
borne / born
course / coarse
discreet / discrete
duffle / duffel
embed / imbed
enquire / inquire
gray [US] / grey [UK]
hoard / horde
lightning / lightening
passed / past
phase / faze
rack / wrack
reign / rule
'til / till
vice / vise
who's / whose
you're / your

Acronyms--Common ones that should not have periods:

CIA
FBI
MRI
OMG
SUV
WTF

And of interest to romance authors:
HEA  [happily ever after]
ms  [manuscript]
TSTL  [too stupid to live]
WIP  [work in progress]

Is there a homonym you know you regularly have trouble with?

6 comments:

Ruby Duvall said...

Great new words to add to my proofread list!

Stacy McKitrick said...

I apparently like the British version for lots of words, i.e. grey, theatre, and travelling. Yeah, and I'm not even British (born & raised in So. California!).
Oh well...

Barbara Elsborg said...

bear and bare - the only time I get this right is when I write - the bear was bare. Otherwise I'm always wrong.

Jennifer Denys said...

My dictionary states that duffle/duffel and embed/imbed are the same things so I am guessing you are referring to UK/US spellings??? If not please let me know. My usual trick to get around US spellings being an English writer is to set my document to US spellings in the first instance as I don't always notice them. But the differences between UK and US spellings is the subject of a whole other blog post!!!

ECPI Editors said...

Boy, don't get me started on how lax some dictionaries have become! Any sloppy usage (or even misspelling) is now "acceptable usage".

BTW, we recommend the use of OneLook. It will check many online dictionaries, give you all the links. And you can use it to compare alternate spellings or things like open/closed/hyphenated. Just put in each variant, and it will give you a count of how many dictionaries list it that way.

Raelene

Jen said...

BUWAHAHAHAHAAA at TSTL! I imagine the editors throwing that around about some of the manuscripts they have to edit~mine included!

Thanks, as always, for the tidbits!
~Jen