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Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to Spell "Separate"

Here are more commonly misspelled or misused words:

separate

definite(ly)

reference.

Separate: think "pare" as in paring knife which is used to separate the peels from vegetables. It's not "seperate," even though that's how we tend to pronounce the word in speech.

Definitely: think "finite." Not "definate" or "definately."

"Reference" has apparently been another victim of incorrect and unnecessary "verb-ization." I actually saw this on a washing machine today. Inside the lid, the manufacturer cautions users to "reference the owners manual" before use. NO!!! Reference is a noun, a thing, something to which we refer for information. You don't "reference" something. You refer to it. Refer to the owners manual (which is a reference).

People who make a living writing warning labels should damn well check their spelling and grammar before they send a job out to print. It's their JOB. Somebody at the washing machine factory should be fired.

We can't rightly criticize immigrants for not being able to speak English if we can't speak or write English properly ourselves.

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