Reigning in misused pears

Some writers have trouble making the right choice between two similar words. I like it when I catch one choosing the wrong word. I can pass some fun with homonyms along to you. Someone riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn carriage reins in the horse to control its direction. Elizabeth II reigns in the United Kingdom. So what does the following come-on for a marketing instruction program mean? “How to help reign in your online audience and 
keep them from doing price comparisons when 
considering your product or service.” Is the marketer supposed to control the audience like so many … Continue reading

Where your spell checker is no help: more misused pears

People search online for writing tips because they want to improve their writing. Perhaps you came to this post because you typed “writing tips” into a search engine. Maybe you want to clean mistakes out of your own writing. Maybe you teach writing and want something for your students. Or maybe you just want some fun with homonyms. Actually, I love mistakes in writing, provided that either someone else makes them or I get to do it deliberately to make a point. I have certainly enjoyed writing “misused pears” instead of “misused pairs” as part of the title of this … Continue reading

Wrong word rant, or, misused pears

I had a chat on Facebook not long ago where my friend was enthusiastically explaining a new school he had started. His writing was atrocious. He never capitalized anything. Punctuation seemed entirely random. Faced with homonyms (words that sound similar but are spelled differently), he used the wrong one more often than not. He took great offense when I expressed the hope that he was more careful in corresponding with parents. I think I know why he misused words with so little concern. Listening to radio news about 30 years ago, I heard about someone who had just gotten a … Continue reading