#BadWordWednesday : Farther v. Further

This should be easy-peasy to remember:

Farther = distance = imagine the prefix being the word far => FARther

Further = continuance = imagine it is missing the word more as a suffix => furtherMORE

Comment below using both of these persnickerty words in one grammatically correct sentence and I will edit this post featuring your submission.

Further, there will be a gift card involved that would take you farther up the road to Starbucks to spend it.


#BadWordWednesday : Your v. You’re

Your = one word = pronoun = states that you own or posess something

e.g., your page, your name, your date, your shoes, your car

You’re = two words = You  are = verb = states that you are involved in some action

e.g., you are welcome, you are watching, you are wonderful, you are brilliant

Two words with an apostrophe rule: if you can use the two words, use them instead of contractions; if you can use the two words, you may correctly use the contractions instead.


#BadWordWednesday : There, Their, They’re

These are they of which I never grow tired of policing. Once again:

There = a location = think of HERE with  a T before it = There

Their = a person = think of HEIR with a T before it = Their

They’re = actually the contracted subject and verb They and are = when in doubt, don’t = instead write out the two words = They are = if it makes sense that way, then you may correctly use They’re.

Let’s review:

tHERE = there or here are both locations

tHEIR = their and heir are both people

They’RE = two words, use them

Bookmark and refer to this frequently for tweets and status updates, for masters’ thesis and dissertations, for articles you send me to edit — oh wait, maybe not for articles you send me to edit!
HIRE iWrite.Solutions today!

#BadWordWednesday : Discreet v. Discrete


Discreet essentially means “hold your cards close to your chest.”

Discrete essentially means “go to your separate corners.”

Remember this:

In discreet, the two ee’s are like two eyes — what do you really want them to see?

We had to be discreet in planning Mom’s retirement party. 

With discrete, the two ee’s are separated — like a sectional plate at a church bar-be-que.

Kim arranged the wedding guests into three discrete sections: bride’s friends, groom’s friends, and feuding family. 

So, think it through, do you want to keep your subjects secretive or separate; discrEEt or discrEtE?


#BadWordWednesday : Maybe v. May Be

Easy fix: when tempted to use the adverb maybe substitute its meaning perhaps and see if the sentence still makes sense.

Maybe the reason you have so much lobster peel is because you didn’t use SPF+30.

Perhaps the reason you have so much lobster peel is because you didn’t use SPF+30.

In both instances, the word maybe and it’s meaning perhaps are interchangeable.

On the other hand, you very well may be using the verb be and its auxiliary may when you are driving without your GPS and realize, “Oops, I may be lost! Oh, Siri!!!!”


#BadWordWednesday : Loose v. Lose

Simply stated:  loose is “not tight” and lose is “not found.” But you know that already right? Except when you are blogging, bragging and helping a fifth grader with their homework.

I hope these little diddies helps you fix this oh so common blunder.

Oh darn — the goose got loose! (As in, the goose is getting away because the pen was not latched tight enough.)

 Only losers lose key rings and bar fights.

Photo by rieh

#BadWordWednesday : Well v. Good

Simple fix:  Well describes an action. Good describes a thing.

Fancy fix:  Well modifies a verb. Good describes a noun.

I learned to read well before I was in the first grade.

However, I did not feel good about reading aloud because I stuttered.

Sometimes. Then it gets complicated. As in:

I would tell my mom that the pie she was baking smells good, even though it did not have a nose.

Try this fix:  I read well. I read good books. I read good books well.


#BadWordWednesday : Herbs and Spices

When I am not dawdling with words I am in the kitchen with my ancestors working culinary roots over carcass. My spice rack is 26 tins impressive, pots of herbs are tended on my balcony, and a spice and herb matrix hangs prominently on the wall. Which brings me to today’s fix it folks — herbs and spices are not one and the same.

General rules of a pinch or a pound:

Herbs are made up of flowers, leaves, and stems.

Spices are ground from dried buds, roots, seeds, and bark.

And then, there is saffon, our resident cross-gender spice from flower stamens.

Finally, if following these general rules for distinguishing herbs from spices, I would like to hear from consumers of the cannabis plant. Is it truly an herb or does it masquerade as a spice once through the drying process?

Photo by sara marlowe

#BadWordWednesday : All Ready v. Already

No,the adverb already is not a contracted use of the phrase all ready.

All ready = everything that needed to be done is completed.

I was all ready to go to the club when I saw a pimple the size of Mount Rushmore on my forehead.

Already = something has happened in the past.

At my age, I thought I was already done with acne breakouts.

Not the same. Not interchangeable. So stop using them as such.


Photo by merfam

#BadWordWednesday : ABCD i.e. vs. e.g.

Linguists love Latin — albeit antiquated, still useful.

Latin = id est = that is => English = in other words

Latin – exempli gratia = for example => English = used before giving specific examples

Now, let’s try this.

Amazon is my favorite online store, i.e., first choice, because of their Prime shipping.

In this example, I restated favorite as the reason Amazon is my first choice when online shopping.

Amazon is my favorite online store because of their Prime shipping unavailable through other sites, e.g., eBay, Zulily, or Joss and Main.

In this example of proper usage of e.g., I listed three other favorite online shopping stores that do not have Prime shipping.

Try this trick to remember these rules:

i.e. – “I” can say this another way.

e.g. – Example begins with “e”. 

Hope that helps to fix it for you!