This may be one of those throwaway blog entries, I’m afraid. As I no longer maintain my own blog, I am posting this here.
Their is a malady, a contagious infection if you will, that is making the rounds hear at Redstate. In fact, not just hear, but in the news tickers on cable news networks, in advertising, and even in newspaper headlines. As you’ve surely surmised, I’m talking, of course, about homophones. Specifically, I’m talking about using the wrong one from a group of them. I’ve been doing so throughout this paragraph. (I’m going to try to stop now, as it is tiresome.)I do want to point out that I am not complaining in general about spelling errors. Everyone makes spelling errors now and then; everyone makes typos. Most of us make errors in our grammar or usage now and then as well. This is different, and in my opinion, far more annoying.
Let me give you one of the most frequently seen examples: Marshall Law. How many times have you seen this absurdity? I’ve seen it in the news, I’ve seen it in fake news in TV movies, and I’ve seen it in blogs. It is MARTIAL law! As in “temporary rule by military authorities, imposed on a civilian population especially in time of war or when civil authority has broken down.”
Here’s another particularly annoying example: their. Where has the word their got off to? It is written as there or they’re by bloggers so frequently, they’re going to change their understanding of the three until there is no difference.
If you say “due too” or “dew to” then you are making an error. If you say that something “had an affect” on you, that you hope to “affect change” or wonder how that change “may effect” you, then you are making a mistake; a mistake that your spell-checker won’t find and won’t correct.
This malady does, of course, have its humorous side. Sometimes homophone misuse results in a malapropism (I am not quite so modern yet as to subscribe to the notion that mere misuse of a word rises to the level of malapropism. I remain an advocate of the definition that requires misuse of a word in a common phrase). If you live “next store” to someone, if you classify something as “beyond the pail,” perhaps because it violates the “tenants” of your philosophy, then you’re familiar with the phenomenon. Do you ever find yourself “batting down the hatches” or waiting for something to “bare fruit”? Do you fret over someone being given “free reign”? If so, you may suffer from this illness.
I would love to see some funny examples posted here by reply. I don’t expect this blog entry to be a cure. Maybe, however, it can serve as treatment. I think it would be nice to see Redstate stand out positively in this regard.
Of coarse, it could be that I’m simply to picky and critical. If so, I’m sure I’ll get my just desserts.*
Some sites I obtained information from are:
eggcorns.lascribe.net; webgrammar.com; answers.com.
*That’s right, “just desserts” is wrong.