Tag Archives: Critique and Revision

Errors That Might Escape Spell Check

“Errors That Might Escape Spell Check” by Joan Y. Edwards

When revising your manuscript, one of your goals is: Correct all words that are not spelled properly.

Many word processing programs have a Spell Check feature. It will find and correct most words in a manuscript. However, Spell Check won’t catch the misuse of homonyms and other English words that often confuse writers. After all the words are spelled correctly. They are not used correctly.

What is a good writer like you to do?  Use Find for each of the words below and other words you might confuse. Then correct the spelling.

A. Homonyms that fool you.

  1. Incorrect: I turned it’s pages quickly.
    Correct: I turned its pages quickly.
  2. Incorrect: They took off they’re coats.
    Correct: They took off their coats.
  3. Incorrect: Lucy is the idle of my life.
    Correct: Lucy is the idol of my life.

B. Words that don’t sound alike, but are still used incorrectly.  Lie, lay; set, sit; who, which, that; further, farther; and proceed, precede.

  1. Incorrect: I cannot walk any further.
    Correct: I cannot walk any farther.
  2. Incorrect: Lie the book on my desk.
    Correct: Lay the book on my desk.
  3. Incorrect: Precede with your plans.
    Correct: Proceed with your plans.

Here’s a fun quiz entitled, “Are You Smarter Than a Spell-Checker?” I hope you enjoy it. http://www.pongoresume.com/blogPosts/146/quiz-are-you-smarter-than-a-spell-checker-.cfm

Edit your manuscript to a “polished – as good as I can get it for now” stage. Properly formatted. Punctuation and grammar checked. Pitch written, Plot checked. Characterization embedded. When you have finished polishing your manuscript, submit it to a publisher or agent.

Thank you for reading my blog and sharing with your friends.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright 2012 © Joan Y. Edwards