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More common word mix-ups

Posted by Maria Murnane | September 9, 2013

A few posts back, I pointed out some common words and phrases I’ve seen writers get mixed up. Today I’d like to point out a few more:

Do they want people to smoke in silence?

What they say: That sweater really compliments your hair color.

What they should say: That sweater really complements your hair color.

 

What they say: The tickets to the show were complementary.

What they should say: The tickets to the show were complimentary.

 

What they say: I was just laying around doing nothing.

What they should say: I was just lying around doing nothing.

 

What they say: There are no acceptions to that rule.

What they should say: There are no exceptions to that rule.

 

What they say: You must except what they are saying.

What they should say: You must accept what they are saying.

 

What they say: The affect of the storm will be significant.

What they should say: The effect of the storm will be significant.

 

The above mistakes are minor on their own, but if you make too many of them, it’s going to create a negative impression on whoever reads your book. That’s why I strongly recommend hiring a copyeditor if you go the indie route. (I also recommend hiring a creative/developmental editor. See my post about the difference between the two.) If you can’t afford a copyeditor, ask a friend, preferably one who is super particular about syntax and grammar, to do it in exchange for a nice dinner, spa treatment, etc. That way you can focus on the intended meaning behind your words and let someone else focus on the details.

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

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