Writing Topics: mistakes

You literally don’t know how to use that word

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If there is one word that is literally jumping off the page asking to be used properly, it’s “literally”. I’m sure all of you spotted the deliberate mistake in the previous sentence: words don’t actually jump off pages. Most of the time, they do things “figuratively”, the opposite of “literally”. There are some terrible offenders, […]

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Don’t shun the dictionary!

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You might think this one is obvious, but you’d be surprised how reluctant some people are to use a dictionary. Don’t expect your spellchecker to tell you the difference between “effect” and “affect” and where and when you should use one or the other. You should never assume you know what an unfamiliar word means, […]

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When ‘badly’ doesn’t mean ‘urgently’; or, why we should all read our work through

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Much talk in the blogosphere recently about a lady, a professional writer, who, touting for business through Google ads, asked potential customers: ‘Need it written badly?’ Unsurprisingly, this attracted a lot of attention. Not a lot of it positive. The line may have been a kind of post-modern joke, but, if so, then it was […]

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Introducing the edible typo

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] It’s one thing to let a spelling mistake creep into a typed document, but quite another to go to the trouble of baking a cake, covering it with marzipan and carefully icing the thing – only to pipe some garbled message on your lovingly crafted creation. […]

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Spot the mistakes

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Can you see why I get annoyed every time I walk past this plaque? It’s on a house not far from my office and I can see two things wrong with it. Please leave your answers in the comments section!

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