catslash: (NO)
([personal profile] catslash Nov. 8th, 2010 11:40 am)
THE FOLLOWING IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.

DISCREET: Subtle, careful, under the radar. She discreetly pushed her bra strap back under her shirt. (Is it possible to do this discreetly? I haven't figured out how. But I digress.)

DISCRETE: Separate and individual. I will steal Merriam-Webster's example because I have way less practice using this in a sentence: There are several discrete sections to this vast medical complex, including a college of pharmacology and a research center.

If you need a trick to remember it, try thinking of the E's in "discrete" being two discrete units, separated as they are by the T.

Please. Stop making this mistake. It's almost as bad as loose/lose, and it is damn embarrassing to see when I know for a fact that the person doing it is too smart to get tripped up by homonyms HOMOPHONES see I'm not perfect either, nothing wrong with that.

That is all.

From: [identity profile] supervillainess.livejournal.com


Ha! That's me, isn't it? I think I JUST did this Saturday. Once, I lost the 5th grade spelling bee 'cause I got tripped up on boar/bore. There are certain pairs of homophones that never stay in my head correctly. ;)
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


I have actually seen more than one person on my flist do this. I think it's one of those ones that just tends to mess with people more, for whatever reason.

Plus I totally used "homonym" when I meant "homophone," so obviously I am far from immune to such mistakes. XD

From: [identity profile] supervillainess.livejournal.com


I think in this case, I am less familiar (have had no cause to use) with "discrete." I knew it looked wrong when I was typing, but spell-check didn't flag it, and I couldn't recall it's correct usage so... I LOATHE those sorts of errors. Like, it's just as embarrassing as spinach in yer teeth, skirt in underwear, and toilet paper on your shoe. One of those things your friends should alert you to before you embarrass yourself in public. ;)

My semi-colon usage is horrendous, but I'm still working on that one.
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


it's correct usage

Well, while I'm embarrassing you alerting you to things, I may as well point out that the possessive form of "it" never, ever takes an apostrophe.

But semicolons are hard for everybody, so don't worry about that. *g* I overuse them myself, but then I'm a dork.

I know what you mean about "discrete," though. That's why I had to steal the example instead of making up my own - it doesn't exactly come up in everyday conversation for most people. For a while, I didn't even know what it meant; I just knew it was not the spelling people were looking for. That is probably exactly why it messes with people so much.

From: [identity profile] supervillainess.livejournal.com


D'oh! THAT one, I know better and always type it wrong, regardless. Bad fingers! ;)

I can't even tell you how many times I've referenced The Oatmeal's Guide to Semicolons (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon). It's better than Strunk & White!

From: [identity profile] rowanberries.livejournal.com


THANK YOU.

I see this so often I keep panicking in case I've been doing it wrong for years. But noooo.
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


It's insidious, isn't it? Stupid common internet errors.
ext_41681: (Sam is not so sure about this.)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


You may want to run a quick CTRL+F on the Girardi/Farnsworth fic. Just saying.

From: [identity profile] americanleaguer.livejournal.com


Ha ha, given how quickly I wrote and posted that, I'd be surprised if that was the only typo. Why don't people ever point these things out? I know people read it, you can't have been the only person to catch it.
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


I don't know! I didn't comment myself because the only thing I had to say was "this was a satisfactory reading experience," which I consider pretty useless as far as feedback goes, but it is true that people tend not to point out typos. Maybe it's a politeness thing? I feel weird about pointing out errors if the writer hasn't specifically asked for that. Or, when I am moved to give feedback, it's generally because I'm excited about the story itself, so I'm not thinking about the mechanical errors. I will do so for you in future, though.

From: [identity profile] americanleaguer.livejournal.com


idk, maybe it bothers other people, but if it's a typo, I'd prefer to be alerted to it. I don't generally use betas or anything like that, so a fresh set of eyes is sometimes the only way I'll catch some of this stuff (especially the kind that doesn't flag spellcheck).

I guess it would be kind of rude to give unsolicited feedback like, "THAT IS NOT KYLE FARNSWORTH, WHAT A TERRIBLE CHARACTERIZATION, YOU'VE DONE IT ALL WRONG," but spelling I consider fair game, since it's usually just fingers typing faster than the brain is following or whatever.

Which is also why I would put something like discreet/discrete, or lose/loose, where/were, etc, in a different category from their/they're/there or your/you're errors... the former can be simple mechanical or spelling errors, especially when typing quickly, but the latter are more likely to be actual usage mistakes.
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


Yeah, I like having my typos pointed out, too - otherwise I probably won't spot them myself for months, or I'll never see them at all.

I know I keep harping on loose/lose, but it's so ubiquitous online that I don't think it can be attributed to mostly typos. I think there are a lot of internet users who honestly think "lose" has two O's, because that error is just SO common. I'll admit that I've hesitated over it a couple times myself when I'm tired, because I see it so often that even though I know it's wrong, my brain is starting to accept it despite my input. Which is probably why I'm complaining about it so much, because that's embarrassing for me.

From: [identity profile] littlestclouds.livejournal.com


You know, somebody mixed these up in a fic I read the other day and it totally pulled me out of it but I've completely forgotten what fic/what fandom/etc.

Timely post!
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


That may or may not be a coincidence.

I don't get as judgey with this as I do with lose/loose, though - as <lj user="supervillainess" observed above, "discrete" doesn't get a lot of use, so this mistake is a lot easier to make. It really is something that needs to be pointed out from time to time.

From: [identity profile] littlestclouds.livejournal.com


OH! *looks upthread* Yes. I feel slightly less crazy now.
vivien: (writing)

From: [personal profile] vivien


Homophones are my nemesis. I know the difference between the common ones, but if I'm tired, the fingers take over, and my brain doesn't catch the errors. I've even goofed.up 'their' and 'they're', which is horrifying to me. Woe!
ext_41681: (Default)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


Oh god yes. If I'm really tired, all bets are off. I don't think I've ever let a their/there/they're mix-up slip through, but I know I've had to stop and think about it for a second or two. That's generally a sign that I should go to bed.

From: [identity profile] karaokegal.livejournal.com


SCREAM it to the rooftops, honey. Right up there with moral/morale, lose/loose and (OMFG) no/now/know. *SHUDDER*
ext_41681: (what now?)

From: [identity profile] catslash.livejournal.com


Also: breath/breathe. It is amazing how often I find "breath" used as a verb.

From: [identity profile] karaokegal.livejournal.com


GAH! (And my least favorite excuse for this stuff is ESL. I don't care. If you know you have a problem with the language...get a fuckin' beta.)
.

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