Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just One Letter…

A while back, I discussed what can happen if you change just one letter in a word (remember the Obama/Osama debacle?). In many cases, the mistyped word is a real word, so the spellcheck feature won’t catch it. The little green grammar squiggle might not appear, either.

One error I see with alarming regularity is “you” instead of “your.” If that ‘R’ key doesn’t get tapped hard enough, “Please submit your payment” becomes “Please submit you payment” (or something that sounds equally silly).

Here are some other recent examples of one letter making all the difference:

“alteration” and “altercation” (change becomes conflict)

“vigilant” and “vigilante” (keeping a careful watch becomes taking action to right a wrong)

“barely” and “barfly” (okay, I created that one, but isn’t it kind of amusing?)

“letter” and “latter” (a typo I made while writing this post!)

Your takeaway: The next time someone says, “It doesn’t matter whether I spelled it right – you knew what I meant!” you can respond with, “Um, not really.”

1 comment:

  1. We're doing a lot of online training just now and our Captivate software guy found this...

    Set up vs. Set-up vs. Setup
    http://www.future-perfect.co.uk/grammartips/grammar-tip-setup-set-up.asp

    Thought you'd be interested!

    ReplyDelete