Friday, August 15, 2014

Helps for Better Writing (Part 9 of 11)

Let's look at easily confused words. (These have also come from blog readers.)

One of the most common is lose and loose. I don't know why this is a problem, because the meanings are obvious; I suppose it's the spelling. Here's a mnemonic device a friend suggested: He's as loose as a goose. By saying it aloud, he says he gets the sound and spelling correct.

Another help is to pronounce the word aloud. If it has an audible Z sound, then you write lose. If you use the hissing S sound, it's loose.

Orientate and orient. British writers seem to prefer orientate; in the US, we use orient. That's the only difference I see. On several websites, some have argued that orientate isn't a proper word (and they're wrong).

My opinion is that people who want to sound better educated than they are tend to use more ostentatious words such as orientate.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the easy help with using correct words. It's the little things that trip me enough to break my chain of thought.

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