All of Us Make Them
By Annette Rey
You hate it when it happens. You pressed send and later find out there are errors in your submission.
How could that happen when you took all the protective steps of proofreading and editing?
As you reread, your eye is accustomed to your own mistakes. Each of us think something we have used for years is correct: a misspelling, misusage of a word, punctuation rules we misinterpreted in school, subject/verb disagreement, and more.
Because the correct writing of English is complex, you must continually (or continuously?) learn exactly how to construct it.
I used the example above to show how easy it is to come across a situation in your writing that needs a dictionary check to make your writing superb.
Continuous and continual are synonyms. So why not use either word? As I described in my article on the difference between elegant and eloquent (which are not synonyms), there is a nuance of language difference between particular words that seem to have the same meaning.
Continual – of frequent occurrence
Continuous – marked by no interruption
You can’t continuously study language or you wouldn’t be eating, sleeping, or doing anything else to sustain your life. But a river flows continuously.
The shortcut to fewer errors in your work is to educate yourself to speak our language fluently. This will equip you to write with fewer errors and to be a better proofreader. The more you use reference books, the more you learn as you go. To me, checking each piece of work is the effortless approach to learning.
The go-to books are a dictionary and a grammar book, preferably several of each. See my not-yet-complete (because it is always growing) book list under the subject category Tools, and Books.
The big plus is – with every article you write, you should learn something new or reinforce existing knowledge.
This is the good journey of a writer.