Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some (More) Common Mistakes

How high it is
How wide it be
How low it was
Too far to see
 
Many people say and write heighth without a second thought.  Width and depth and even breadth are correct.  Heighth makes sense, right?
It may make sense, but it is wrong! I don't know why this one is different than the others, but it should never be spelled or pronounced heighth. If you do this - stop it!
 
 
This brings me to another common misuse.  Frequently, people write then instead of than.  Then is used to say: "I want to do this, then that;" whereas, than is used to say: "I would rather do this than that."
 
Then indicates a sequence of activities or events; and than indicates a preference for one thing over another.  When speaking, people often pronounce than as then, so I can understand some of the confusion.  There are regional variations in how words are said; however, there is no variation in the spelling of the words.  They are different, despite regional pronunciations. 
 
 
One other word that is constantly misused is wereWere is a verb (Not to be confused with were as in werewolf.  That's a whole other animal).  It should never be used in place of we're, which is a contraction of we are.  That's just lazy.  It's just an apostrophe, people!  One extra keystroke, maybe two on a phone.  It is not that difficult and there is no reason not to use it.  It will make your writing, or texts, clearer.  I'm one of those people who takes longer to decipher text speak than to type out a message using complete words and punctuation.  Please be kind and use good grammar!  My thanks.