Here is the latest installment of a series I started a year ago to help remind all my connections of the dangers of believing in spellcheck. Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE spellcheck! It has saved me many times from embarrassing errors (spelling is not one of my strengths).
But spellcheck does only one thing well: it spells. It knows if a word is spelled correctly. It does NOT know if a word is used correctly. That’s what we writers have to be alert for: those pesky words known as homophones (words that sound alike — or nearly so — but mean something different and are spelled differently). If we want to be seen as thoroughly professional, we need to be “on our toes” with this!
Now I don’t expect anyone to memorize all the possible problem words; I often look words up myself online (isn’t that a wonderful thing we can do?). I use the YourDictionary.com site because it shows many different definitions from several dictionaries, not just one. You can get a really good lesson just looking through those definitions!
You might notice that one of the pairs — incompetence and incompetents — is also an example of using “in” to mean “not.”
My blogs are all on my Web site, GrammarGoddess.com, where they’re grouped by categories so you can easily choose which to read first. I hope you find many to enjoy and learn from.