Using words correctly is one of my passions. I’ve worked as a professional proofreader and copy editor, so I’ve seen plenty of misspelled and misused words.

Pardon me while the teacher/writer in me explains how to avoid some of those errors, in case you’re wondering how to go about doing that. And don’t worry, I don’t usually correct misused/misspelled words in e-mail sent to me.

A frequently misused/misspelled set of words is

there, their, they’re

One way to decide which word to use is to write it down and think about what message is intended.

“Their going to the store.” vs. “They’re going to the store.”

If you mean that “they are going to the store,” then “They’re” is the correct word.

Tip: Copy editors and proofreaders often keep lists of commonly misspelled/misused words for future reference in writing projects. Youngsters struggling to learn to read have either cue cards or lists of the words they are learning.

Something to think about if you know someone struggling to use words better.


One thought on “Words

  1. As a teacher this is one of my pet hates but one that i also struggle with. lol. a list of words is a good idea and we encourage students to keep a notebook of words they struggle with.

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