100 Writing Mistakes To Avoid: eBook Review
Have you ever met a person who was kicked out of a high school English class for sarcastic remarks during grammar lessons? Well, now you have.
I was never a big fan of grammar; in fact, I was pretty much its worst enemy.
Fast forward to today, and in a strange twist of irony, I find myself writing for a living. Grammar and I have had to put our shaky past behind us and make friends.
So it was with some trepidation that I decided to do an eBook review for 100 Writing Mistakes To Avoid.
What’s it about?
100 Writing Mistakes is less of a book and more of a guide. It is designed for new writers that want to avoid some of the most common errors when it comes to spelling, usage and punctuation. Included are several spelling and usage variants that depend upon whether you are using British or American English.
As a note, this is probably not for the seasoned writer. The seasoned writer is well aware of these spelling and usage mistakes and no doubt wakes up in a cold sweat over the proper usage of effect and affect. This is more of a quick reference for the new writer or the writer who wants all his commonly-encountered writing errors in one place.
The book delivers 100 common mistakes that you will come across most often when reading on the Internet. Whether it’s in blog posts, forums, or social media, these are the blunders that drive the grammar Nazis insane.
The guide is broken down into sections for spelling, usage, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Each mistake is listed with an incorrect and correct usage along with a brief explanation as to proper usage.
Here’s a taste of some of the things that you’ll go over:
Loose / Lose
You’ll see this one all over the place. I don’t know how the world isn’t filled with runaway items as people continue to loose things on such a regular basis. I think the problem with lose is that is sounds like it should have a double “o” in it. Well, now you know it doesn’t. So just stop it people!
Whether / Weather / Wether
I’ve done this one myself many times and it sure makes me look like a Donny Dunce. Weather refers to the atmosphere while whether is a function word that goes properly in constructions such as whether or not. Wether, apparently, is a castrated sheep or goat; which we may just have to do for people who continue to spell these words incorrectly.
Averse / Adverse
Here is one that I’ve been using incorrectly for a long time. Here’s what the guide has to say on the matter:
INCORRECT: I’m not adverse to a glass of wine at dinner
CORRECT: I’m not averse to a glass of wine at dinner.
Averse is an adjective meaning “having an active feeling of repugnance or dislike.” Adverse is an adjective meaning “being in opposition to one’s interests.”
Although, not having a glass of wine is certainly in opposition to my interests, so could I still say I was not adverse to the offer?
Beg the question / Raises the question
You’ll sometimes hear people use beg the question when they want to appear to be all civilized and urbane. I think people who use the phrase “begs the question” need to have their head examined. It sounds ridiculous and if you use it around me the only thing you’ll be begging for is a beating.
Could care less / Couldn’t care less
I like this one. These phrases spark a lot of debate and basically boil down to personal preference. Used in one way it could give the impression that you care a little bit while what you’re really saying it that you couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the whole thing.
Scotch / Scots / Scottish
I’m part Scottish but I still fear getting a punch in the stomach from Sean Connery if I ever use these words incorrectly. Scotch is a drink while Scots are a people. And just to get you confused even further, don’t go into a pub in Scotland and order scotch because they call it malt whisky there. And if you get it wrong and get punched in the stomach, don’t come crying to me.
There is a whole bunch more where that came from, and the guide does a good job of covering all the most common pitfalls.
Where I think the guide comes in really handy is for writers who are committing these mistakes and may not even realize it. These aren’t the kind of things that are picked up in a spell check and unless we know what to look for, in all probability, we will continue oblivious to these types of errors.
While most of these mistakes can be found with a quick search on the Internet, it is handy to have them all in one place. This is especially true if you need to review from time to time to see if you’ve fixed some problems or picked up some new bad habits.
The eBook is available for $9.99 from the Daily Writing Tips website.