December 31, 2012
addition, confusion, edition, English, flaunt, flout, grammar, homophones, misuse, reckless, reek, than, then, wreak, wreck
Another long gap, another stretch of interesting life—although this stretch was actually pretty productive, editing-wise: two novels, a novella, a long short story, four Asian technical papers . . . and two projects begun and dropped because they were just way out of my experiential expertise (although both look promising for future other-topic ventures)!
What to say today, to wrap up both a calendar-year and an impending “cliff dive”?
Let’s try one more round of “potato/potahto,” four more commonly confused words that sound alike but mean vastly different things:
- edition/addition: An “edition” is a version of something, as in a history book that gets re-issued, often with new material added or deleted. Meanwhile, the only meaning for “addition” is the mathematical one, whether used in that context directly or in the phrase “in addition” (which merely means “also” but is a slightly more edumacated-sounding way to put it). More
December 9, 2012
confusion, English, healer, heeler, homophones, language, misuse, rain, reign, rein, waive, wave
Dang, has it been that long since I posted here? Actually, I’ve had some real editing work to do: a technical paper, a teen novel, some test papers . . . and now, another novel/memoir.
But I can’t leave the gap, so here are three more word-mixups to conjure with:
- reign/rein/rain: The first word (reign) has to do with royalty (some folks also use it to refer to presidential terms), and refers to the length of the term royalty (elected or otherwise) stays on the throne. The second one (rein) comes from horsemanship, and refers to those straps of leather used to steer a horse. It is also used (metaphorically, in most cases) to refer to controls on people’s behavior, as in “we need to rein in our Senators and Congresspeople, before they spend us into bankruptcy.” The third word (rain) is only about the weather, those drops of water that fall down from the sky.