Saturday, February 9, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 12)

It's amazing just how many common words are frequently misused not only by casual writers, but sometimes even by professionals. Here are some more:

It’s vs. its

Wrong: Its over here.
Right: It’s over here.

It’s means “it is,” while its denotes ownership, as in “The dog? We’re looking for its owner.” They’re easy enough to keep straight. Ask yourself, “Do I mean ‘it is’ here?” If not, use its.

Alright vs. all right

Wrong: Are you feeling alright?
Right: Are you feeling all right?

Alright is a nonstandard spelling and shouldn’t be used—ever (“The Who” song, The Kids are Alright, notwithstanding). All right is the correct spelling.

There are plenty more where these came from. Stay tuned.


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