Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordwise Word Wednesday

Wherever I see words, I also see words misused. I was always the "word police" in my family, and when we would go on trips I was always pointing out word misuse and misspelling on signs and in print. I am notorious for being bothered by signs at roadside stands that say "Strawberrys" instead of strawberries. To be fair, I give them the benefit of the doubt and think perhaps it was an issue of space. That extra letter in the correct spelling may have proven too much for the width of the sign, after all.

There are several others, but the most frequent are the mix-up of "there", "they're", and "their" and the transposition of "your" and "you're." How exciting! I found a little quiz on the subject! It is on a site with several other grammar lessons and quizzes. Fun!~

  • There is an adverb, and can be used to tell where something is located. As in: The books are over there. It can also be used to discuss a particular point at which something begins or ends, or can be use as an interjection. THERE!
  • They're is the contraction of THEY and ARE. It is used correctly as: They're going to the theatre this evening. They're in the city for the weekend.
  • Their is the possessive pronoun one uses when discussing what belongs to them. As in: They left their home very quickly. Their food was getting cold. Their ship just came in.
To use all three together: "They're over there in their hut."

  • Your is an adjective describing possession or direction. As in: Your books are on the table. They are on your left.
  • You're is a contraction of the words YOU and ARE, so would be used to describe your current state. You're late. You're fired. You're sad. You're going to be so happy when you hear the news. You're not going to believe what happened!
Your work is not finished because you're daydreaming.

Another that I have seen lately is the use of "rod" instead of "wrought" in connection with iron. I poke about on the internet looking for cast iron cookware, and often find incorrect offerings of "rod iron" items as well.

Wrought iron is malleable iron that has been worked into shape [by a blacksmith]. Merriam Webster says:
: a commercial form of iron that is tough, malleable, and relatively soft, contains less than 0.3 percent and usually less than 0.1 percent carbon, and carries 1 or 2 percent of slag mechanically mixed with it

Allwords.com says that "rod iron" is a common misspelling of "wrought iron." However, Red Willow Forge does offer "rod iron art" which is comprised of items created from rods of iron. Thus, the term "rod iron" may have some place in the world of blacksmithery.

Keep and eye out on Facebook and Twitter
and other places you go on your internet journeys.

You're likely to find some further examples...
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