I have a disease. It’s not a “normal” disease, like the common cold, gingivitis, or even ringworm, psoriasis, or tetter. Nope. I suffer from what I like to refer to as “hyper-proofread-itis” or “red pen syndrome.”
What this means for me, not just as a writer, but as an everyday citizen, is that everywhere I turn, in every conversation of which I’m a part, I’m forced to do mental battle with my internal editor.
Nowhere is this more true than on Twitter. Or Facebook, or on the countless real estate (and other) blogs that I read as a part of my business. Ah, yes … the Interwebs are a veritable cornucopia of misused colloquialisms, misspellings, and misunderstandings.
Everyone makes mistakes now and then. It’s totally understandable. But when those mistakes are repeated ad nauseum, it’s generally due to a lack of understanding, or misinformation.
It won’t do you any good to have your message lost amid a morass of creative spelling.
Short of booking a lifetime reservation in a padded cell, I’ve come up with a jim-dandy list of common mistakes that make me … twitchy. With your help, good people, my suffering (and that of others) can end.
“Hear! Hear!” vs. “Here! Here!”
Contrary to what you might’ve heard, “Here! Here!” is not correct, though the vast majority of people seem to think it is. “Hear! Hear!” is an expression that means, in essence, “Hey! I totally agree with what this super-smart person is saying. Listen up, y’all!” If you say, “Here! Here!” those around you will likely respond with, “Where? Where?”
“Per” vs. “As Per.”
Holy HANNAH. This is one that really sticks in my craw (Getting stuff out of your craw? That’s just messy.) Here, “per” is all that’s necessary. “Per,” in this case, means “according to.” Using the expression “as per” is reduntantly redundant. And also redundant.
“Lose” vs. “Loose.” This one’s pretty straightforward, as far as I can see, but it doesn’t stop legions of people from mistaking one word for the other. To lose something is to misplace it; to become unaware of its whereabouts. “Loose” is the opposite of “tight,” or what you do when you release a tirade (eg. “Why loose your venom on me?”) of vitriol when people ask, “Did you loose your keys?”
“Peek” vs. “Peak” vs. “Pique.” I’ve been seeing lots of variations on this one of late. So, check it, yo. If you take a peek, you’re stealing a quick glance at something. All of those tags you see around the Holidays that say, “Don’t peek!” are telling you not to look. A peak is something’s pinnacle, like the top of a mountain, or the highest-of-the-high in one’s profession (eg. “I reached the peak of Mt. Everest today! Now, I’m going to Disneyland!”) Conversely, if you have heightened interest in something, your interest is “piqued.” An example of correct usage would be, “Here’s a quick peek into my past that might pique your interest: I used to ski a lot in Colorado and had a great view of many mountain peaks.”
“Probably” vs. “Prolly.” The first is what you say when you mean that something is likely to happen. PROBABLY. The second? It’s not a word. Not now, not ever.
For the sake of sparing the proverbial dead horse additional beating, I’ll steer clear of “their/they’re/there,” “your/you’re,” “affect/effect,” and “its/it’s” (also because I don’t wish to suffer an aneurysm.)
Given the dementia that I disclosed above, it’s not hard to imagine that I could go on about things like this for thousands upon thousands of words, but I’ll spare you that … for now.
I’m hopeful that, with the examples I’ve given and with your help, I’ll be well on my way to recovery. If not that, your own blog posts, tweets, Facebook status updates, and marketing pieces will most certainly gleam brighter, letting your ferocious real estate wisdom shine through.
And I’ll avoid a straitjacket. For now.