If you missed the other installments, check them out here:
- Common Things Proofreaders Miss
- Common Things Proofreaders Miss Part 2
- Common Things Proofreaders Miss Part 3
- Common Things Proofreaders Miss Part 4
Many of the word pairs in this installment are tricky because they look and sound similar. One letter may be the only thing separating one of the words from its close relative (or shall I say “spellative”?! ;-)). When proofreading transcripts, be careful not to let your eyes skip over the middle of the word and “think” they know what the word is… it could be a completely different word!
career / carrier
palate / pallet
breaks / brakes
pedal / peddle / petal – a bicycle has pedals, a flower has petals, and a merchant peddles his crafts.
chose / choose – I most often see “choose” used for “chose,” much like “loose” for “lose.”
realty / reality – a single letter can alter the meaning.
manager / manger – ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously. And it doesn’t come up on spell check because manger isn’t spelled incorrectly.
tortious / torturous / tortuous – first one has to do with civil wrongdoing, second one has to do with physical wrongdoing, and third one means “excessively lengthy and complex” (in legal context).
revolve / resolve
causal / casual – this one can pop up in hearings a lot. Read the whole word!
stake / steak
prescribe / proscribe – VERY TRICKY. Both are legal/medical terms that can easily appear in a transcript. Proscribe means to forbid by law. Prescribe, in the context of transcripts, usually has to do with prescribing drugs or treatment of some sort.
precede / proceed – “Before you preceded to…” NOPE. –> “Before you proceeded to…” is correct.
complaint / compliant – this one is TRICKY. Since the two letters that could screw up the entire meaning are right in the middle of the word, be careful not to let your eyes gloss right over the “whole” word.
where / wear
whether / weather
conscious / conscience
viscous / vicious
me / my / any – see this one before “questions” sometimes: “I don’t have my more questions for you.” or “Have you understood any questions today?” — this sounds right, but it’s VERY likely in context that the word “any” was misstroked for “my.”
filed / field / filled