23 March 2015

Grammar Nazi Rant!

People need to learn that just cuz words sound the same, they don't mean the same! Though both of the following words have the same pronunciation, they are vastly different. I know it's very Grammar Nazi-ish of me, and I am FAR from perfect myself and make more than my fair share of mistakes. As long as one is not rude when pointing them out, I'd rather know I made a mistake and get it fixed than leave it. I don't get why people do not seem to understand homophones. Some just seem silly to me, such as using the words "to," "too," and "two" or "their," "there," and "they're" interchangeably. I could understand some others but, really, there are so many ways to access the tools needed to check and make sure. Is it that people don't care? Or do they just not want to take time to look it up? I'd rather know I tried at the least to look something up, if I weren't sure of the word already. Yes, technology has made life much easier in this regard. But sometimes, using word processing software will lead you into making mistakes if you spell a word correctly but use the wrong homophone. And truthfully, in casual communications, it bugs me much less than with professional, published works. I don't expect everyone to be perfect. There's always going to be mistakes. And I tend to expect more from myself, and get more annoyed when I make mistakes than when others around me do. Except when it comes to professional works. If you're paid to write, you should be attentive to details and try to get it right. But even being paid, authors are humans and make mistakes. They aren't the only ones responsible for mistakes in professional writing. There are editors, proofreaders, and copy editors that should all be seeing the work before the final published copy is released. Yes, there are differences between the three jobs. The differences are explained in an article titled "Editing vs. Proofreading: What’s the difference?".

It summarizes that an editor:
  • rewrites sentences and paragraphs for flow; 
  • makes the text clearer and more understandable; 
  • uses their specialized knowledge to clarify and improve text.
While that job can be extensive, a proofreader: 
  • goes beyond “spell-check” to catch errors a computer might miss; 
  • ensures zero grammatical errors, usually after a document has already been edited.
A copy editor (or “sub-editor”):
  • proofreads, with an added expertise in ensuring style consistency appropriate to a publication or organization.
When it comes to published books, it could be the author's doing of course. But there are these nifty people who are paid to make sure the author is correct, so in a professionally published book, there's really no excuses. Authors aren't always spot on which is why there are those other people who are paid to make sure the author is correct. On the other side of the coin, if you are an editor, proofreader or copy editor and are paid to do a job, know the difference between words or here's a novel thought, if you don't know — consult a freaking dictionary.There are tons of them, both in print and electronically. Smart phones have em, so surely there is no excuse to not be able to access a dictionary. And using a lack of net access doesn't cut it as many apps have off-line capabilities. My phone has multiple dictionaries (I AM a word nerd, does that REALLY shock anyone?) and a few of them have off-line access. What set this rant off? The use of "dyer" when "dire" was the word that should have been used. Dyer ≠ dire!!!!

Dyer [ˈdaɪəʳ] noun = Someone whose job is to dye cloth.
Dire [ˈdaɪəʳ] adj. = Warning of or having dreadful or terrible consequences; calamitous; urgent; desperate; foreboding disaster; ominous; causing or involving great fear or suffering; terrible; indicating trouble, disaster, or the like; fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless.

They may sound the same, but they aren't even close in meaning. Although a dyer's job can have dire consequences I would imagine, given the chemicals in dyes.

Last but not least, if you do have trouble with homophones, check out Homophone.com, "a handy compilation of homophones for anyone who is learning or simply curious about the English language! This resource is exceptionally useful for schools and offices as a reference for when spoken English word must be converted to written language."

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