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    Friday
    Nov262010

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.*

    I'm still in a bit of a turkey coma today, as I'm sure many of you are, so today we'll keep it short and sweet. There are a number of phrases and words that I see authors commonly misusing, mixing up, or misspelling, some of which are more baffling to me than others. A few mix-ups I've run into lately include:

    • Versus and Verses. I run into this mistake all the time. "Versus" is commonly confused with "verses" and usually not the other way around. To clear things up for you there are verses in the Bible, and versus is used when you're talking about two things in opposition to each other (e.g., man versus bear).
    • Eachother.I must admit that this one baffles me. People often think that "eachother" should be an indefinite pronoun, like everyone or anybody, but it's not. It's always two separate words, each other.
    • Juggler and jugular. A juggler is someone who throws balls around. The jugular is an important vein in your neck. Unless your veins are more talented than most people's, jugular is the word you're looking for.
    • Table of Context. I must admit that I laughed to myself about this one. Although you might be hoping to provide some context with it, the part of the book that lists all your chapters and the pages they start on is the Table of Contents.
    • Forward and Foreword. This is something I see all the time. Forward is a direction. A short introduction written for a book by someone other than the author is a foreword. The word foreword is also commonly used to improperly label a book's preface, which is a short introduction written by the author.
    • Coach and couch.This mix-up caused one of the most unintentionally funny sentences I've read in a while: "I've been lying on the coach all day and it feels sooooo good!"

    This list doesn't even include some of the most common offenders (e.g., your and you're), but it just goes to show you that you can't depend on your spellchecker to do all the work for you. Read what you've written carefully, or better yet, get a skilled editor to help you find mistakes like these.

    *Ten points to anyone who can correctly identify the movie the title of this post is taken from.

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    Reader Comments (3)

    Great post. And the movie is "The Princess Bride." :-)

    November 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

    So cute! I already like you on FB and also get your posts on Google Reader. :) jkbjhv jkbjhv - supra muska.

    November 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermgdwqu mgdwqu

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    December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertyshfb tyshfb

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