Typical Words that Snag Authors in Their Writing

Leave it to Mark Twain to remind us, “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” 

 

One of the most common snafus I come across in editing a manuscript is the confusion of same sounding words. Partly from, auto-corrections, dictation of copy and just not knowing the correct spelling.

All authors stumble here—yes, ALL. Oh, you’ve spelled the word correctly … BUT, is it the right word with the right meaning? Often, it’s not.

Did you know that there are many words and phrases which (should it be that?) cause authors too (oh-oh … is it spelled to?) question weather (hmmm … maybe whether is correct?) their (yikes … definitely not there either … try they’re!) used correctly? If you know what you’re (your is correct here) snafu words are, use the Word search function to do a “search” for every possible variant of that word or phrase.

Let’s try the above paragraph again …

Did you know that there are many words and phrases that cause authors to question whether they’re used correctly? If you know what your snafu words are, use the Word search function to do a “search” for every possible variant of that word or phrase.

Much better!

One of my “go to” tools I use is Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. A book that I suggest you get, read, then use as an ongoing reference pronto. To help you consider what your hiccup words might be, here’s a starting list, excerpted from her first chapter:

  • a lot/alot
  • affect/effect
  • can/may
  • further/farther
  • good/well
  • i.e./e.g.
  • into/in to
  • it’s/its
  • lay/lie
  • less/fewer
  • that/who
  • their/they’re/there
  • then/than
  • who/whom
  • your/you’re

If you’re unsure of how to use the above words, get a little help the Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is here!

 

signature-full TRN

 

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Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen

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