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Just Breathe…or is it Breath?

12 Oct

From the title of my blog I bet you can figure out what today’s topic is about.  Yep, you got it.  Those pesky words that are similar in spelling and/or sound, but have totally different meanings.

We all have words that make us stop mid key-board stroke and wonder (or is it wander) if we are making the write—oops, I mean right—choice.

I notice when I write there are certain words that trip me up and stop me in my tracks (or do I mean treks?).  Don’t you think everyone (or should I say every one with a space between the words?) has words that give them cause to pause?  As a writer I work hard to choose words which will convey my characters moods and feelings, set the scene, bring my story to life for my reader.  Sometimes it’s hard to accept (except) that I have to stop and double check myself from time to time to make sure I’m choosing the right word to get my point across the way I mean.

This brings me to those awesome people who help me get it right.  Critique partners.  As a writer, you have to love your critiquers.  (I know I don’t mean you’re right?  You’re is the contraction for you are).  These awesome sticklers of the written word catch many a mistake, not just with plot holes or inconsistencies, but grammar and spelling.  They are amazing and know—not no, as if in a negative response—their stuff.  Each partner is different in what they notice or catch, but they all have a flair (which means a conspicuous talent, whereas flare is either a noun meaning flame or a verb meaning to blaze or to burst in anger.) on finding those pesky mistakes and helping to make this woman get it right.  (Not women, which is a mistake my partners have caught for me hundreds of times, don’t know why, but I always seem to type the wrong one, even though I know the meaning…applause to the critique ladies). :)

So if you are like me and those mistakes bother you to the point where you lose sleep…*gulp*, I hope I don’t mean loose…even though you have those awesome critique partners and their eagle eyes, today I have a little website that I have come across to help you self edit.  :)

The next time your fingers are flying across the keyboard at warp speed and your muse is talking so fast you can hardly manage to keep up, then one of those words jump out at you and your mind falls flat and your fingers curl.  Check out this link and it’ll all make sense.

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html#errors

After you get it figured out, you’ll be able to sit back and just breathe (I hope I don’t mean breath).

Feel free to share any of those trip-up words that overtake your writing from time to time, I’d love to hear them.  And fingers crossed that I didn’t mess any of them up in my blog today…lol…now how funny would that be? :)

Happy writing and reading,
Christine

 
24 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Day to Day Life, On Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

24 responses to “Just Breathe…or is it Breath?

  1. Calisa Rhose

    October 12, 2011 at 12:34 am

    One word gets me every time just about, well two. It’s/its and affect/effect Hate those two. What a fun post Christine.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:36 am

      Thanks Calisa…..your comment reminded me of another pair that gets me….too and to. Sometimes I just can’t handle the two of them…lol

       
  2. Jennifer Lowery~Writer

    October 12, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Awesome website! Thanks for sharing, Christine. Farther/further always messes me up, lol. Great post.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:37 am

      Another pair that makes you second guess yourself. Thanks for dropping by Jennifer :)

       
  3. Neecy

    October 12, 2011 at 2:09 am

    This was a great link, thanks for sharing. I shared it with my GDRWA chapter. One word that gets me is bear/bare….LOL
    XX,
    Neecy

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:37 am

      LOL…Neecy I struggle with those as well. I’m glad I’m not alone in this!

       
  4. jerridrennen

    October 12, 2011 at 2:22 am

    I do the women/woman thing all the time or I forget to put the ed on a word that needs it. I can go over and over things and (there/not their) will still be mistakes. I’m just that way. Thank God for my critters.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 7:34 am

      Glad to know there is someone else out there that does the woman/women thing…and there/their/they’re is another good one. Great additions Jerri :)

       
  5. Nikki

    October 12, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Great post….That’s enough thought to make my head spin! Lol :)

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:38 am

      :) Nikki, you’re funny! Glad you dropped in to read and comment. Thanks.

       
  6. Kristina Knight

    October 12, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Thanks for sharing, Christine! Affect/Effect gets me every time. I know the difference, but in the heat of writing, I always use ‘effect’ … and then have to change it up later.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:39 am

      Sounds like you and me share that trait of having to go back and change things around. I do that with woman and women, know the difference, but I guess my fingers don’t….lol Thanks for stopping in Kristi

       
  7. D'Ann Linscott-Dunham

    October 12, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Great post!
    Necessary. I HATE this word. And sheriff. Ugh.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:40 am

      lol….it makes me smile to know everyone else has struggle words too….whew….Thanks for commenting D’Ann :)

       
  8. mirriamsmyth

    October 12, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Awesome post, Christine! :) I’m an affect/effect person, like Kristina. Annoying when I use the wrong one. The link is great, informative and going to be used when I write and crit!

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:40 am

      Great Mirriam…glad I helped you out with the link!

       
  9. Brenda

    October 12, 2011 at 3:43 am

    LOL, cool post.
    Too and to use to trip me up. Affect and effect get me every time. Lose and loose use to make me stop and think. When I needed to use loose I always had to say goose in my head because I know loose and goose are spelled the same–hehehe, yep, I’m mental.
    Breath and breathe use to stump me too. Oh, and the blonds get me. Blonde and blond. Why the heck can’t they just be the same.

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:42 am

      OMG Brenda…blonde and blond…grrrr….that one makes me pull out my big 80’s hair! lol I’ve heard so many ‘rules’ about this word, my mind can’t keep them straight. I think I’m going with blond to refer to a man and blonde when referring to a woman, unless she wears heels after midnight and lives in the northern hemisphere…or something like that. LOL

       
  10. Lynne Marshall

    October 12, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Hi Christine –
    Recently I made a comment on a readers/writers loop using the wrong spelling for this phrase: I’m waiting with bated breath.
    I had written baited breath. Boy did I get my hand slapped by a quick to respond author!
    In my defense – if I was putting that phrase in a book I would make sure it was spelled correctly, and I didn’t realize e-mails got the same scrutiny as books! Oh well. I’ll never misspell that word again. :)

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 6:44 am

      Ouch, sorry that happened to you Lynne! I didn’t know that emails were taken so seriously either…well, unless of course they are to an agent or editor or a potential boss….lol
      But you are right, you will remember that hand slap and you’ll always remember which word to use.
      Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it :)

       
  11. Sheri Fredricks

    October 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

    There are so many words that trip me up. Thank God for my crit partners who are smart and catch those pesky errors! And Brenda – blonde/blond – Grrr!!!

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

      You’re right on target Sheri…critique partners are the best!

       
  12. Angie Richmond (aka Write Me Happy)

    October 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I love this post because the title says it all for me. Countless times I debate with myself, pull out the dictionary and then debate some more. The English language sure has its quirks!

     
    • ChristineWarner

      October 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      You’ve got that right…mastering English, with all it’s slang and variations is no task for the faint of heart…lol. Thanks for visiting Angie, glad you stopped by and commented :)

       

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