Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Definitely Want to Pay Attention to This!

This week, I've seen the word definitely spelled wrong about 10 times.

Since this is such a common error, I thought I would take this opportunity to say that if you are spelling definitely as definately, you are definitely wrong!

Why does this happen? I think it has to do with pronunciation. Many people pronounce the term as deaf-in -at-ly instead of deaf-in-net-ly. (Yes, I added the "a" in "deaf" deliberately for phonetics.)

An easy way to remember the correct spelling is to think of the word define. If you remember define, you'll be fine!

Sorry, couldn't pass up the great chance to use that corny pun.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today's Writing Tip -- Talking Italian

Recently, I heard someone on the radio use this line: "It's a bunch of bunk, what the media is trying to feed you." That really made me laugh. I grew up in New Jersey and learned Soprano-speak early on. There is a certain way that ethnic groups, particularly first-generation Italians, will phrase their sentences that makes sense in their language but appears backwards in English. This is a prime example.

If we reverse that sentence, it would read, "What the media is trying to feed you is a bunch of bunk." That's sounds much more straightforward and familiar to us.

This is the kind of error that is made more frequently in speech than in writing, but if English is not your first language, you may want to have someone else review your copy if you're blogging or writing an important article.

And if English is your first language, stop talking Soprano! Tony has ways of punishing you from the great beyond.

Sigrid Macdonald is the author of three books, including Be Your Own Editor which will be released soon by TotalRecall Press in Texas. You can buy it from her directly for $17.99 by sending an e-mail and using PayPal.

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