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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When Spell-Check Can't Help | Philip B. Corbett, New York Times


Corbett begins:
I’ve held off for a while, but the sound-alike mix-up file is starting to overflow. Here are the latest lapses involving similar-seeming words — some new problems and some familiar ones. And some, frankly, that are pretty embarrassing.
Here's the list of word-choice errors that appeared in the New York Times. Corbett provides more details about each:
  • loathe vs. loath
  • ex-patriots vs. expatriates
  • retrenched vs. entrenched
  • born out vs. borne out
  • quaffed vs. coiffed
  • effect vs. affect
  • discreet vs. discrete
  • jibe vs. gibe.
Corbett's excellent, regular "After Deadline" column also discussed"Phrases We Love Too Much" and other grammar, usage and style questions.

If you have  questions about word usage (or abbreviations, addresses, capitalization, English grammar, Internet terminology, numbers, plurals, possessives, punctuation and spelling), check for answers in Garbl's Editorial Style Manual.

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