Sunday, April 27, 2008


It has two Ps, not two Ss.

Dilemma has no Ns, but it does, always, have two Ms.

Site is a location, either on the internet, or in real life. Sight is the sense your eyes provide - or perhaps it's a piece of a gun, but it's certainly not a place. And while we're on that subject - local is the adjective you use to describe where something is in relation to you. My corner grocery? It's local. Locale is a synonym of site.

Moral is the end of an Aesop fable, or a good way to describe the Pope. Morale is what your company is trying to improve when they give you $5 Starfuck's giftcards for Secretaries' Day.

It's Mothers' Day, by the way. Fathers' Day, too - it's for all of them, not just one of them. S' denotes something that belongs to a group of people - 's indicates it belongs to just one, unless the plural noun is such that it doesn't end in an s, like children or people.

They used to call elementary school grammar school, because at one point, not very long ago in history, they taught grammar there. Grammar used to include spelling, proper usage of punctuation, and homophones.

I'd hate to think I live in a nation that needs, collectively, to return to first grade, but there are days when the above peeves are only the tip of the iceberg. If you insist on communicating with the written word, you must learn to write properly, or no one will understand you.

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