Adventures in the comments section


Don’t you just love them? Once you’ve dug past the frist, the 133t and the politics, there can actually be some thought-provoking stuff in there. I bumped across one earlier that had (yet another) argument on proper spelling, or lack thereof; in this case, in the page owner’s contribution. A visitor pointed out the mistakes (with all the tact expected of a comments section post), and the page owner shot back with qualifications and job position. The usual. This is what stuck with me; the reply the site owner made was along the lines of ‘just because I spell this way here doesn’t mean I do this at work or school.’ I’m on the visitor’s side in this case, but that’s not entirely the point I'm trying to make. A person can be quite intelligent and accomplished and still suck at spelling. But when you allow yourself to let down your guard in everyday writing, like chats, forums, et cetera, any misspellings you’re accustomed to making will bleed into your more formal writing, such as research papers and resumes. One example I came across a while back was that of a young salesperson making a presentation to the higher-ups of a company and misspelling the company’s name. On the slide heading. That stayed up for the whole presentation. When it comes to voice acting, the words matter. When you’re telling another person’s story, you’ve got to understand it first. Sometimes it only takes one letter to change a meaning, and therefore change your understanding, and interpretation, and delivery. College versus collage: One is an institution of higher learning. The other is sticky, with glitter and pictures of boy band boys cut out of a magazine. (Or maybe you kids use Photoshop now, which deprives you of the joy and possible lung damage of playing with glitter.) Regime versus regimen: They have a common origin (yay etymology) that means ruling and guidance, but regime is usually associated with dictators; regimen, with health. Using hygiene as an example, you could have a regimen that involves using the toilet first, then showering, then shaving.

(Yes, you could summarize that in three words.)

Also, it is not an exercise regime, no matter how loudly the instructor’s yelling. Reign versus rein: Reigning is for royalty. Reining is for horses. I’ve seen this misused frequently when speaking of control, which is a common theme for both words. Than versus then: I’d rather walk on nails then see you again. (You want to go through both unpleasant experiences one after the other?) There are so many more examples out there. Let’s see if I can find them all…

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