As discussed in previous posts, a self-editing checklist is often a helpful tool for authors. Today, I’d like to share some words that are often confused, and adding these to your checklist will save you time when self-editing:
Acute/chronic: A good way to remember the difference in these words is to think of pain. A chronic pain is unyielding. Acute pain is at its most painful or critical point.
Affluent/effluent: Both words deal with the flow of water. Affluent water flows into; effluent water flows out. Also affluent can deal with an overflowing of riches, etc.
All right/alright: Although increasing in usage, the experts agree. It is never all right to use “alright.”
Calendar/calender: The first is a chart showing the days of the week, month, and year. The second is a machine that is used to glaze of smooth paper or cloth.
Chord/cord: Chord has to do with music; cord is a rope or something that connects (tangible or intangible).
Desert/desert/deserts/dessert: Desert (noun) is a dry wasteland; desert (verb) is to abandon; deserts (noun): a just reward or punishment, such as “She received her just deserts.” A dessert is the sweet dish served as the last course of a meal, or a sweet treat.
Faithful/fateful: Faithful is loyal and dependable; fateful is an event or outcome controlled by fate.
Hanged/hung: One of my favorites: People are hanged and objects are hung. Easy enough.
Hoard/horde: A hoard is a stash or hiding place; a horde is a crowd of people.
Mantel/mantle: These words are confused by many writers. A mantel is the shelf or ledge over a fireplace while a mantle is a cloak or a cover.
From time to time, I’ll bring more information to add to your personal checklists.