I read a LOT of blogs, and most of them are quite well written. However, there are certain grammar and word choice mistakes I see over and over. Sometimes I think the perpetrator is just being careless, but at other times it's an honest lack of knowledge. Here are some of the examples I've noticed lately:
- Phase (a stage in a process of change or development) when someone means faze (to cause to be disturbed or disconcerted). Examples: My kid is going through a teething phase. It didn't faze me when the flying saucer landed because I've been expecting the aliens all my life.
- Voila (used to call attention to or express satisfaction with a thing shown or accomplished), often seen spelled as some variation of wahlah or walla. Not only does that leave out the delightful "vwah" sound at the beginning, but it robs the writer of the chance to interject a cool French word into his or her writing. Example: Voila! I've learned how to use the word, "voila."
- There's the oft-confused Affect (to act on; produce an effect or change in) and Effect (something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence). Examples: Let's see how this magic potion affects me! The potion had the effect of turning me into a wombat.
- Eek (an exclamation of surprise) is not the same as eke (to supplement; add to; stretch). Examples: Eek! I've turned into a wombat! How can a wombat eke out an existence in the suburbs?
- Okay, let's dig in and get this one straight: Lie and Lay, present and past tense, refer to things that you do. Examples: I'm going to lie down for a bit. I lay out in the sun all afternoon. Lay and Laid are things that are done to something. Examples: I'm going to lay out the placemats on the dining room table. I laid a gun next to my plate in case my dinner guests got too dangerous.
- Finally, It's versus Its. I'll let Bob the Angry Flower explain that one for you.
All definitions drawn from Dictionary.com. All examples courtesy of the way my brain works at 6 a.m.
Do you have any to add?