There are 7 words people misuse—and Drive. Me. Crazy! Evidently I am not the only person who is annoyed by this.
When I look at the 7 words people misuse, it seems that a large number of people missed class when their teachers explained contractions.
That little apostrophe following the word is a substitute for some missing letters of a verb (action or being word).
Many of these words sound the same—thus the confusion. When typing, don’t spell what you hear; spell for meaning.
Words People Misuse: your / you’re
This is such a common mistake that I see it everywhere—even on TV news banners. Think about these words in this way:
Your: you own something, you possess it. EX: Your dog is in my yard.
You’re: You are. This contraction is simply shortening an already brief action/being phrase. EX: You’re going to remove your dog from my yard.
Words People Misuse: their /they’re / there
VERY similar to the your/you’re, “their” indicates ownership or possession of some sort. EX: Their family is visiting New York.
“They’re” means they are, again another contraction. EX: They’re planning to see some Broadway plays.
“There” is an indication of a place or location. EX: There is a restaurant close to the theater.
Words People Misuse: affect / effect
Affect is a verb meaning to change something. EX: Germs affect your health.
Effect is a noun and is the result of when you AFFECT something. EX: The effect of the germs can be devastating.
Fixing those Words People Misuse
When a writer misuses words, it gives a glaring impression of unprofessionalism to any reader who knows better. It screams AMATEUR.
There are hundreds of words and phrases that authors misuse. Instead of trying to retool your memory to write all of them correctly all of the time, just aim to correct these seven words to begin with. These errors are easy to correct if you focus your attention on the correct way to spell and use them.
Fix Those 7 Words
In one out of every five book edits that I do, I find at least one of these errors. They are simple to fix, if you think about what you are writing.
Start small and consciously use these 7 words correctly. Then tackle the rest of your errors bit by bit.
Since you are a professional in communicating with other people, make sure your words illustrate your skill.