Nearly four years ago, I published an article titled Spelling tips – It’s your game they’re looking for. The concept was simple: Since what we do is sometimes called creative writing, shouldn’t we show some competency with the writing part? We also certainly don’t want to turn new players off with our own poor spelling or grammar, right? That piece covered the proper use of its/it’s, your/you’re, and there/their/they’re. Today we’re going to look at five more situations that are often confused.
Fewer vs. Less
- Fewer: Use this word when referring to something that can be counted. I write fewer posts than he does.
- Less: Use this word when referring to something that cannot be counted. I write less than he does.
Farther vs. Further
- Farther: Use this word when referring to a physical distance. Romulus is farther from Earth than Vulcan.
- Further: Use this word for everything else! Nothing could be further from the truth!
Lead vs. Led
- Lead [leed]: The act of leading in the present or future tense. I shall lead you into the stars!
- Lead [led]: The chemical element with an atomic number of 82. Lead is a very dense substance!
- Led [led]: The act of leading in the past tense. I led 12 writers when I was the host of my sim.
Lose vs. Loose
- Lose: The opposite of win. You will lose to me in Tri-Dimensional Chess.
- Loose: The opposite of tight. My Star Fleet uniform is loose because I lost a lot of weight after cutting marshmelons from my diet.
Who’s vs. Whose
- Who’s: The contraction of who and is. Who’s going to write the next post?
- Whose: The interrogate from of whom. Whose post is this?
Actually, there are a lot of exceptions for these two… good luck!
In case you didn’t get enough above, here are three more helpful links to check out:
- 20 Misused Words That Make Smart People Look Dumb
- The 58 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases
- Wikipedia:List of commonly misused English words
I hope I didn’t make too many mistakes of my own in this post! 🙂