Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's the principal/principle

I was reading a book today. I know, shocker! I won't write the name of the book, but it is a fairly well know children's series. I found a grammatical error. Horrors! This makes me sad. I expect to find errors in self-published e-books; but not in an edited, printed, professionally-published book! The author used the word principal when he meant principle.

A principal is the person who runs a school.
A principle is a tenet or rule that one follows.

The principal is your pal (a person), as someone once taught me.

I have frequently seen these words mixed up by people writing comments on the internet. It's just another one of those stupid homonyms that people don't know how to use, or don't pay attention to. Why do we have so many of those (homonyms, not people)?

Leave/Let it be

I know it's been a while since I posted. I'm going to try to write more often from now on.

This afternoon, I was pondering the words leave and let. They are frequently used interchangeably, as in my title.

Leave it be.
Let it be.

Leave it alone.
Let it alone.

However, the interchangeability breaks down quickly.

Let it go.
Leave it go.

I have heard many people use the latter, unfortunately. I don't know the origins of the usages of these phrases. It makes me wonder if leave it be used to be non-standard and has been integrated and accepted over time. I hope leave it go doesn't do that. It sounds so wrong! Actually, the more I say leave it be, the more wrong it sounds, too!

This one just confuses me. Is it regional? I don't know what to do with it. All I can say is, as usual: think before you speak!