Yep. Some days, despite my years of working at this writing thing, some days I feel like I’m back in high school English class. If I were magically transported back to Mrs. Emmenhiser’s class, I’d certainly give her a piece of my mind!
I recently bought a book that has lots of little things we commonly write wrong in it. It’s a wonderful book … and also a torture device straight from the devil himself. I thought I’d share some of the items I’ve already found useful:
- Blonde with the e at the end refers to a woman with Blonde hair.
- Blond with no e refers to a man with blond hair.
- Confidante with the e at the end refers to a female confidante.
- Confidant with no e refers to a male confidant.
- Back yard as one word means the yard at the back of the house. “Let’s go out into the backyard.”
- Backyard as two words refers to something in the backyard, like “a backyard swimming pool.”
- A job perq, or a benefit of the job, is spelled perq, not perk.
- North, south, east and west as directions are generally not capitalized. If they refer to a specific place like North America, then they are capitalized.
- Faint means dim, dizzy or slight.
- Feint means a deceptive action, like “the boxed feinted with a left fist.”
- Further is used in abstract situations like “she couldn’t go any further.”
- Father is used for measurable distances, like “the house is farther away than then barn.”
- Flak is criticism or ground based antiaircraft fire. “I took a lot of flak for my suggestions.”
- Flack is a press agent. “The flack sent out the press release.”
So did any of this surprise you?
Jennifer Geoghan, author of The Purity of Blood novel series, and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.