Surfing around the ‘net, I found another 79,352,863 so-called professional articles online this week with ridiculous errors. Most are homophones, words that sound the same but are spelled differently.
I already covered common punctuation errors here, in The Most Annoying Online Errors (formerly called “All Those Eyes.” Editing is fun!)
Below are more goofs I keep running across, in no particular order.
Horde vs. hoard
A horde is a large group. A hoard is an accumulation. ”But,” you cry, “the definitions are similar!” Tricky? Yes, except a hoard can be small.
Teh vs. the
In LOLcat speak, teh is usually deliberate. The email to your boss is not LOLcat speak. Often this error is a typo that careful proofreading would have caught. I see it more in blog posts and comments.
Thx vs. thanks
Unless texting your BFF, write it out! The more you get in the habit of writing carefully and properly, the better your overall presentation will be. Save the textspeak for casual encounters. Or just learn to type faster.
Bare vs. bear
(Naked vs. a large carnivorous land mammal)
I hate this one.
The pain was more than I could bare.
Don’t wear shoulder-bearing shirts in the office.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear (not a bare). Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?
Isle vs. aisle
You were not married on a tropical aisle; it was a tropical isle. Your grocery cart didn’t lose a wheel in the middle of the isle; you lost it in the aisle.
Gage vs. gauge
A gage is a pledge or the token of a challenge, like the glove a knight throws down to an opponent. A gauge is an instrument for measuring something. Guage is just plain wrong.
Hair vs. hare
Come on. Really? You can’t tell the difference between an aggregate of keratinous filaments growing through the skin, and a long-eared, rodentlike mammal of the genus Lepus?
Your veins can juggle! Call the news channel! Call Ripley’s Believe it or Not! We got a medical miracle here!
Leach vs. leech
NO: The trash leeched chemicals into the groundwater when it rained.
To leach *VERB* means to dissolve out something by percolation.
A leech *NOUN* is a bloodsucking freshwater worm, or that ex-boyfriend who hung around constantly and ate all your roommate’s food.
Accept vs. except
To accept is to receive something—an object, criticism, etc. Except is a preposition, which leads to an exclusion.
“I’d accept your challenge,” the Doctor said to the Sontaran, “except we are not both armed with sonic screwdrivers. Wouldn’t be quite fair, would it?”
Run-on sentences go on and on they don’t have any punctuation between them and they are very very long the person writing them doesn’t know or care about punctuation oh my God that drives me nuts.
I see these in comments or forum posts the most. Many times, they lead to an impenetrable wall of text my eyes cannot fathom.
Than vs. then
NO: He was more handsome thenthe first man we saw.
YES: He was more handsome than the first man we saw.
Than is a conjunction. It sets apart two unequal subjects of comparison.
Then is an adverb (modifies a verb, typically) used to denote time and place.
Gandalf leaned over, set the confused Pippin on his feet, then brushed him off roughly. “Fool of a Took,” he muttered, not without affection.
Plural vs. singular
The cops ate their donut.
One cop, one doughnut. His doughnut, her doughnut. More than one cop, more doughnuts.
Donut vs. doughnut. Did you catch that one?
Separate, not seperate.
Mischievous. not mischievious. Also pronounced wrong: it’s MIS-cheh-vus, not mis-CHEE-vee-ous.
When your name goes on that article, you want it to be your best work, right? Even if you’re posting anonymously, your online writing represents you, in comments, posts, and even tweets. Take a little time to check words you’re not sure of.
I’m far from perfect, and if you spot a mistake in one of my posts, please let me know in the comments. They come to me in email, so I’ll see it. I’ll gladly correct it, publish your rebuttal to something I said (following my Comment Policy, of course), or change it if needed.