Embarrassing Errors #4

Written Word Error

By Annette Rey

The purpose of this category on my blog is not to castigate the perpetrator of these errors, but to use the errors as vehicles of education for my readers.

The last Embarrassing Error I reported was on March 19, 2017. So far, I have detailed errors in video productions. I discovered this one in the written word.

This error appears – very obviously – in an article title in a large-circulation magazine.

(Aside: In my constant search for writing perfection, my nagging inner-voice is now asking me, is my choice to hyphenate the preceding adjective of magazine correct structure? I checked references and deduced it is so. Is there an editor among my readers who would like to advise me?)

The error featured in this post is the use of a sound-alike word, but the writer chose the wrong spelling. This makes me ask, does the writer know the difference? Did the proofreaders not know the difference? Did the editor just miss the error or, woe is I (I am woeful), does he not know the difference? I tell myself, this surely cannot be.

The word used was peak – meant to indicate “a fascinating look…”

Now you tell me. What is wrong with this word choice?

I have caught enough errors in newspapers to the point I expect them to occur. Are we living in such a state as to accept a measurable level of error? Are we to be inured to this and not bristle at the mangling or misuse of our language? Worse, are we to believe these are not mistakes, but are believed by the writer to be correct?

I make mistakes. All of us do. I struggle with questions as I write – A comma here?, Which or that?, Which form of this word is correct usage? I suffer the chagrin when I see my work in print containing an error. It glares at me as if it is written in fluorescent ink.

This sensitivity may be annoying to me and to others, but to be without it would mean unawareness. That translates to ignorance. We are ignorant if we do not know we are wrong. It is my goal to be error-free. That means I must be educated and that learning process can never end.

Write about the next errors you find – maybe in this very article. Let me know.





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