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Common Things Proofreaders Miss (Part 5)

Check out this list of common things proofreaders miss when proofreading transcripts for court reporters.

After a long and torturous wait, I’m pleased to be publishing the fifth installment of Common Things Proofreaders Miss!

If you missed the other installments, check them out here:

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

Your Turn!

Is there a word or set of words not yet featured in the Common Things Proofreaders Miss series you feel deserves a spot? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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  1. inure vs. enure

    Inure means to bring (a person, etc.) by use, habit, or continual exercise to a certain condition or state of mind, to the endurance of a certain condition

    Enure is a legal term that loosely means to take place, to be available, or to be applied to the use or benefit of a person.

    1. Oops, yes — I just fixed that 🙂 Haha. Point made, amiright?! Confusing words.

  2. Someone called me out for writing “pass time” in an article online….it’s pastime. 🙂

    1. I have also seen something like this: “She “past” out!” instead of “She “passed” out!”

  3. This one might seem stupid, but you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen “woman” & “women” mixed up. At least once or twice a week, I’ll see something like, “I love my mom. She’s such an amazing women.” I want to reach through the computer & strangle the person.

    Also, what about through/thorough/thru? I’m not even sure there’s an appropriate time to use that last one. Ha ha. Your course has been great so far! Thanks!

    1. LOL! YES! Man, that one is HUGE! It’s one of those you just read and you’re like, WHAT!
      I think the only appropriate time to use “thru” is “thru lane” or “drive-thru” — at least that I’ve seen.

    2. My husband always types/writes “women” when he’s talking about a single person. Drives me up the freaking wall

        1. I just read an e-book that drove me insane. It was a decent story, but throughout the book, the author wrote thru’. T H R U apostrophe. And she used it for both through and threw. And then in the Acknowledgements at the end, she thanked her friend for proofreading. ACK! She lives in the same state as I, and I was sorely tempted to offer my services for her next book.

          Another e-book I finished also had a decent story line, but on nearly every single page, there was at least one misspelling, typo, or grammar mistake. Also tempted to offer my services for the next book, but I’ve searched and cannot find a contact address for the author.

          1. Happens to me all the time. I think I will write an E-Book about a monster that pulls a person’s tooth for every error they miss. It happens so much in E-Books, more than most bound ones!

          2. Make sure you proof it well or your own monster will be visiting you! (And believe me, people would notice!) 🙂

  4. Just this week I read in a transcript that someone “recocked” her sink. It should be recaulked.

    1. LOL! That one made me chuckle 😉 So then cock / caulk have made the list!!

      1. Caitlin, That reminds me that people get chock and chalk mixed up, I’m a trucker, and we should chock our wheels, not chalk them!!

        1. Yes it would be great to include “chock full” instead of “chalk full!”

          1. The latter would make me sneeze, I think!

  5. Principal versus principle. I got knocked on this one in a few grad school papers. :/

    1. That one gets me every freaking time. I have to associate it with a saying to be able to do it semi correctly

      1. This takes me back to primary (elementary ;)) school… “Your school principal is your ‘pal’.”

        1. Yes, but “Principal” has something like 10 other meanings. It’s one of the more confusing ones. However, it helps to remember “Principle” only means a “set of beliefs” and the like. As in, “It’s against my principles.”

          1. Yes. In grammar school we learned that the “principal,” the main person in the school, is our pal. And principle ends in “le,” like “rule.”

    2. I just corrected in this in a newspaper article I was editing this morning. The writer meant “principal”… got it right in the first paragraph and not in the second. *facepalm*

  6. I have seen “back round” check instead of background check!

  7. The incorrect use of their/they’re/there always drives me nuts! Also ‘use to’ and ‘used to’

      1. I don’t know if it’s stress or not, but lately I find myself making that one a LOT!

  8. It drives me crazy when than vs. then is wrong. And ‘should/could/would of’ when it should be ‘should/could/would have’

    1. Oh man, it’s making my skin itch just thinking about it… then/than especially!

    2. Just wondering about this one –

      ‘should/could/would of’ when it should be ‘should/could/would have’

      If we’re accepting that transcripts are verbatim and that’s what the person actually said (I hear it a lot and cringe), should it be left like that?

        1. But isn’t what they’re actually saying “should’ve/could’ve/would’ve”? I mean, they probably do think it’s “of” if you asked them to spell it out, but it will pass for the correct ” ‘ve”, yes?

          1. If I see “could of” or “would of,” I do suggest a correction for it to the ‘ve version just in case 😀 But the reporter will need to listen to their audio… some people really DO say a very clear “of” because they think that’s how you say it 🙂

          2. I am with you. I believe the ‘ve has always sounded like “of” so to type “of” is an actual misspelling and misrepresentation of the ‘ve. So I guess what I’ll do is mark it and let the client do as s/he will.

  9. This one is a simple one, but I see it fairly frequently, of/off. In some cases it may just be from typing too fast. Also, to/too/two.

    1. Oooh good one — I actually made that typo (off/of) in a newsletter once, and a couple of my readers took offense. LOL 🙂 It’s so easy to make!

  10. Breath and breathe drive me crazy! I’m famous for typing “form” instead of “from”.

    1. Our brains are funny 😀 Breath/breathe are funny … I saw it in an “inspirational” graphic on FB once: “When you love someone so much you can’t breath…” haha

    2. The form/from mix-up is the one the gets me. It’s so easy to type the wrong one.

  11. I have seen “certain” and “ascertain” used interchangeably before. Not often, but it does happen. The meaning is similar but not the same. Certain indicates specificity, inevitability, or surety. Ascertain means to check, find out, or discover the certainty of something.

  12. I recently joined an online dating site, and I cannot stop myself from mentally correcting spelling and grammar. One mistake that immediately ends my perusal; sole for soul.

    1. Wow, there’s a good idea for a niche 😉 Proofreading dating profiles!! 😀

      1. I’d make so much money!

        Confession: in college, I dated another Education major. During the summer, he lived 6 hours away and wrote daily. I corrected his letters with red ink. (I know, I know!)

        Fast forward one year. He is sleeping on my parents’ couch. I am tidying my room, he’s hanging out. He rifles through a box with the stack of last summer’s letters. Yikes!!!

        He was so hurt, we almost broke up on the spot.

        Since then, I have been careful to correct other’s mistakes only when warranted, and always with kindness.

        1. Is the mistake in the last sentence included as a joke, or … ?

      2. You know, I saw an actual ad on UpWork where a person wanted someone to actually pretend to be them and respond and chat with possible dates, and you got paid only if they actually got a date.

        First off: Yeah. That’ll end well.
        Second: Who would take a job under those terms? If the person is a loser, chances are, things will not succeed…

        1. Sounds like a great way to begin a relationship built on honesty and trust, don’t you think? 🙂

  13. Was going over each section when I came across the words tortious and tortuous. You stated one meant civil wrongdoing which would be tortious and tortuous being the one left with physcial wrongdoing. Tortuous is like a long winding road or zigzagging path, whereas torturous involves extreme pain or suffering. This is according to vocabulary.com. I didn’t even know what the words meant so I decided to look them up.

    1. You are RIGHT! I am going to add in the third word and make that more clear. Thank you!

  14. I find gate/gait in a lot of the medical insurance transcripts I proof!

    1. I second this one! There is so much misuse of the latter two, perhaps not so much in transcripts, but in general use.

      rein = to guide or control as with the reins of a horse, “to rein in”
      reign = to rule as king or queen

  15. Loving the course so far, Caitlin, and learning a lot from your blog too.

    Currently my pet peaves are: Know vs. no. Workplace vs. work place. Bate’s stamp vs. Bates stamp (Mr. Bate doesn’t own it, Mr. Bates invented it!). And e-mail vs. email. E-mail looks so very wrong to me, but apparently it’s still used.

    1. I use e-mail 😀 Haha. It’s because the “e” stands for electronic.

      1. In scoping training I was taught that the reporters use the merriam-webster.com dictionary as correct. Is this no longer the case? This was a few years ago. Merriam-Webster has evolved to the all lower case version, “e-mail.”

        1. Right now, Merriam-Webster lists both e-mail and email, and reporter preference varies. Of course, language is always changing, so it’s important to double check if you’re not sure. For example, the Chicago Manual of Style just said “internet” with a lowercase “i” is now preferred, but Merriam-Webster is still sticking to “Internet.”

  16. I recently got stumped by sometime vs. some time. I visited Grammarist – -http://grammarist.com/usage/sometime-some-time/ – – to get a better understanding.

  17. Thanks again, Caitlin, for this and for sharing with us your joie de vivre.

    Someone I’ve known most of my life insists on using where for were…and I can’t get her to quit. (We where going to dinner.) {Shudder}

    Also, I think misused words mostly occur for three major reasons. The person:
    1) hears someone else use the word but hasn’t looked it up so, basically, guesses the spelling and/or meaning.
    2) relies solely on computer spellcheck.
    3) is used to the misspellings from texting so doesn’t notice them in other written formats.

    Other than that, I think it’s a matter of context, which is why some *really good* spellers don’t make good proofreaders: their minds tend to wander so it only registers with them whether or not words are spelled correctly.

    1. SO TRUE!! Our various skills and habits (both good and bad ones!) in life are often as a result of our environment!! I actually am clueless when it comes to the names of many parts of speech and parts of sentences. No idea. But I can point out when something’s wrong and tell you how to fix it!!

      1. So glad I just found this conversation! I’ve been sitting here stressing because my memory the parts of speech and sentence structure is rusty to say the least but now I’m just going to let that go for the moment and focus on learning as much as I can! Loving it so far. Thank you!

      2. Thanks very much, Caitlin! I’m relieved to know some other people are rather stumped when it comes to diagramming sentences and parts of speech, yet are able to make a good living as proofreaders!

  18. I’ve seen “rod iron” instead of “wrought iron” more times than I care to remember.

    1. “Rod Iron.” I think I know that guy. Isn’t he a wait lifter? *wink*

      Back to British words- Theater/Theatre. I see them both used so often, I had to look up which one is British! Is that one where one would correct it to the former spelling?

      Oh, that reminds me… “Latter/Ladder/Later. Truly. I can get someone mixing up the first and last, but when I saw “ladder” for “latter” I wanted to write the publishing company and tell them to recall all the books for correction! HOW could someone miss THAT?

      I don’t think this is a common misspelling per se, but I actually was reading a book the other day that said “The vicious breast stalked toward the unsuspecting animal.” I laughed for about half an hour. Oh! And another one!


      Another HUGE pet peeve is books, especially E-Books especially that use text speak. I mean, do people REALLY say “LOL?” verbally? I’ve heard “OMG!” so I can forgive that one…but “thru” is another one I see used instead of the correct various spellings. The whole text speak thing is an English Major’s nightmare! If I see “Sum” for “Some” one more time…no jury would convict me! (Unless they were teenagers.)

      I’m sure I’ll think of more, but I’m in a hot room with a sick bird so it’s making me a little fuzzy headed…

  19. I always get confused with real estate and realestate. I always have to stop and think about it. For some reason real estate doesn’t look correct to me.

  20. Okay, I’ve gotta add peak/peek/pique…

    – Peak is a topmost point, such as a mountain peak;

    – Peek is a glance or a quick look;

    – Pique is to upset or excite someone.

    You pique someone’s interest, you do not peak or peek it!

    *huff, huff* #endrant #thanksforindulgingme

      1. And speaking of “bears repeating,” how about bare and bear?! For some reason, I have to look that up every time!

        Is “bare” used only in reference to being naked or having nothing on it like the bare wood of an unfinished floor?

  21. I have been in several restaurants in the past where they have “deserts” on the menu. I couldn’t help myself. I asked the waitress, “What are deserts?”

    I have also seen someone talking about being in the dessert. LOL!

      1. I had a teacher tell us that if it’s a desert, you only want to go through once. (one s) But if it’s dessert, you want a second serving! (double s)

        1. I like the second serving idea! I teach my students that the extra ‘s’ is for sweet 🙂

          1. Put an ‘s’ at the end of dessert and it spells stressed. That is why we eat dessert because of stress.

      2. I think this confusion starts because “getting your just deserts” has the same spelling as the hot and arid region. Not to mention that you surely don’t want to be deserted in the desert! LOL

        1. I meant the confusion must have started because both kinds of deserts(just) and desserts(yummy) sound the same but are spelled differently.
          Merriam-Webster agrees that getting your just deserts and the hot arid regions are spelled the same. Totally different meaning, but same spelling.

          3. desert
          noun de·sert \di-ˈzərt\
          Definition of desert
          1: the quality or fact of meriting reward or punishment
          2: deserved reward or punishment —usually used in plural
          3: excellence, worth

          1. You guys finally got me. I’ve been reading through this thread and I NEVER would have guessed the correct spelling for “getting your just deserts!” – Thank you!

          2. Isn’t that a tricky one? Even for proofreaders! 🙂

    1. And there’s also, “He deserted me,” although I’d rather be “desserted” haha…

  22. How about awhile vs. a while? I just went through this on the quiz under part 1 and learned the difference.

    If you can replace the words with “for a while” then you use awhile.

    Also learned if you replace everyday or every day with “each day” then you use every day.

    Good little tricks!

  23. I always struggle with affect and effect every single time I come across it, even though I have read the meanings and correct usage a million times!!!

    A great reference book is “8,000 Soundalikes, Look-Alikes and Other Words Often Confused”

    I highly recommend you add a copy to your library!!

    Loving the course, Caitlin!! Thank you.


  24. I also struggle with affect/effect. I have to stop and think about it each time and/or look up the meanings again. One that really bothers me (though it is more often spoken than written) is moot/mute. My husband says it’s a “mute point” and I just want to scream “MOOT! The word is MOOT!”

    Thanks for the great lists!


    1. For affect/ effect-
      Affect is an Action.
      Effect is the End result.

      Hope that helps!

  25. Anyone vs. any one, overtime vs. over time, and my other one I have a problem with is anyplace vs. any place. 😛

  26. Living in Massachusetts, I often see and hear the word drawer spelled as draw. I have to say it drives me crazy.

    1. LOL! That reminds me of a Louis C.K. routine about having learned certain words in Massachusetts.

    2. I’m reminded of the story of the little girl asking her grandmother how to spell “idea.”
      The grandmother (a New Englander) told her, “You spell it just like it sounds, but when you spell it, the ‘r’ is silent.”

  27. I just heard of one that’s new to me as I was reading an article on the practice of medicine. Wheal and wheel! Wheal as in a small swelling on the skin, as from an insect bite, that usually itches or burns.

  28. The words I continue to struggle with are lay/lie/lain/laid.

    1. Hi Debby,
      I have the same problem. This link from Grammar Girl clarifying lay/lie/lain/laid is great: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/lay-versus-lie. There’s even an easy-to-watch video, if you prefer that over reading about it. To be honest, I still am a bit confused because this is a complex one. But I’m a bit better off for this clarification.
      Good luck.

  29. I don’t think I saw this one on the lists, but I came across it today and thought it was spelled wrong. Grammarist.com told me “defence” is used in CA/GB/AU and “defense” in US. Really surprised me!

  30. accept/except

  31. The one I’m thinking about is trooper/trouper. You’ll see people quoted as saying, “She’s a real trooper” but to me this is wrong. It should be, “She’s a real trouper” because the reference is to a troupe of actors, who (ideally) work together for the good of the whole. A trooper is a law enforcement officer. Am I right?

    1. HMMM that’s one I’ve never heard of … you might be right, indeed! Troopers could refer to troops in the military, though, but I’m not 100% sure on that.

      1. Troopers are Military, and Peace Officers as well.

    2. I was going to add this, but I see it’s already been done. Yes, trouper is the correct word. And I see trooper all the time, too.

    3. A Super Trouper is the brand name of the most well-known follow spotlight in the entertainment industry. Also, a lyric in an ABBA song. 🙂

  32. Here’s one that irks me: the improper use of the word “till.”

    I don’t think people realize it means to prepare the soil for planting. Instead, they should be using the contraction of the word “until”, being careful to use an apostrophe before the word, rather than an open, single quote. Ex: “…’til I see you again.”

  33. “Reality” and “realitor” drive me crazy. I have friends in the business who put an “i” in “realty” and “realtor” when it doesn’t belong there. A friend of mine once said she was going to go for her “realitor’s” license. I told her that the first question on the test was whether or not she could pronounce “realtor.” We didn’t speak for a while after that. D’oh!

    1. My sister is a realtor and still says “realitor”! I haven’t had the heart to correct her!

    2. Realtor is actually a registered trademark and requires capitalization.

  34. Not that you’d see it in a legal transcript, but one word I see and hear used incorrectly all the time is “irregardless”. It is listed in some places as a word, but it’s more of a double negative! Makes me nuts!

      1. Yes, but if someone says “irregardless” can’t change it can we? Because it’s part of the dialogue? And even though it’s incorrect but it’s used in the same way as “regardless” and it’s still a common word. I mean if someone kept saying “goose” instead of “gander” we would still need to keep the “goose” in there?

        Oh, another confusing one “Hear hear”/”Here here.” That one bothered me for a long time until I looked up a helpful definition that says it’s an abbreviation of “Hear him! Hear him!” (Or her.)

        1. You’re right, Jen. As transcript proofreaders, we can’t change what’s actually said. Of course, in other proofreading jobs, we’ll need to know the proper terms to use. “Hear! Hear!” is a great one! What would “Here! Here!” even mean?

          1. Maybe something a player in a ball game would say. “Throw the ball! Here! Here!” or when a performer is picking someone out of the audience? Also, there’s always a student in EVERY classroom who does that when a teacher asks a question and everyone else wants to throw their erasers at them…

          2. Ha! Maybe! (Yeah, I remember that kid.)

    1. I actually see this mistake a lot and it drives me bonkers!

  35. I’ve come across though and thought used incorrectly. Also, acknowledgement and acknowledgment (the latter is correct, I believe) is a common one. And here’s one that’s become a pet peeve of mine: supposedly and supposably. That’s just wrong. And I’ve heard talk that it’s going to become a word in the English dictionary. Yikes! Caitlin, say it isn’t so!

    1. Yes, I’ve heard that, too! Also, when people say, “It’s suppose to be like that.” vs. “supposed to” — that is becoming more acceptable, too. Makes me crazy!

      1. Big one for me that’s annoying is “alot.” No such word but used often.

        1. No, I really don’t know which one is correct. I remember as a kid, I always saw it as O.K. Then about high school, I saw “Ok” all the time. And now I see “Okay” mostly. Except in Text speak, and a actually a lot of people just say ” ‘K.”

          Honestly, Text Speak! Oy! I have a button that says “You can literally see the English Language deteriorating on Facebook!”

    2. When I saw your two spellings of acknowledgement I had to go look myself lol. But it looks as though both spellings are correct and interchangeable. You learn something new every day, or at least every list on here.

  36. Capital and capitol. I always have to check which one I’m supposed to use.

  37. Compliment and complement always mess me up! “Cute shoes!” is a compliment. Your cute shoes complement your purse. I promise I’m not shoe shopping while I learn… 😉

    1. I learned complement with an E is like complete. As in complete your purse.

  38. I’m not sure if it applies in transcripts or not, but my pet peeve is would “of” rather than would “have”! Grrrrr

    1. Totally, Kate! That’s always been one of mine, too. 🙂

  39. I guess you have to determine if the person in the transcript misspoke or it was a misstroke!

    Speaking of pet peeves, my English teacher in high school made a point of telling us that “anyways” is not a word. It’s always “anyway.” It has become so common place now, that even folks my age and older (who should know better!) are using it. Drives. me. nuts.

    Okay, I feel better. Thanks!

    1. Oh My Gosh! I HATE that. I was beginning to think I was the only one who noticed that. I have heard sooooooo many people say “nucular”, including presidents of the U.S.

  40. Reading through the comments is looks like there is enough for a part 6! I’m not sure how often it may appear in transcripts but among many others, one set that drives me nuts is pair/pear/pare. Please do not pare my pair of pears, thank you. 🙂

  41. I’m sure this one comes up in transcripts a lot, unless the reporters make a correction on this? “I AXED her a question.” I don’t know which is more painful, the incorrect word usage or the image it conjures up…

  42. One I’m surprised I didn’t see on here is “Alright/All right” unless my Eagle eyes failed me for a moment. I know the first word is incorrect, but it’s become a sort of slang. It mentions on the DWT website that “alright” and “alot” are “These two forms are interchangeable except in one significant respect: The one-word version is wrong. It is used often in informal writing and may one day be standard, but until you get the official memo, refrain from using it if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.” So if the defendant for example is using a lot of (heh) incorrect, slang words, do we just mark them as possibly needing review?

    1. Even though it’s becoming more accepted in informal writing, “alright” is never all right in formal writing. (Or as Merriam-Webster says, “in reputable use.) 🙂 We don’t change the words that were said, but we do put in the correct form when there are options, as is the case with alright/all right.

      1. Wow, that is so bizarre! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen alright spelled “all right”, at least not that I remember!

  43. I’ve actually heard people say “Ahright.” when they mean “all right,” especially young British people. If the context shows that this person speaking in using a lot of weird words, or speaking with a different accent, like “Yah, that’s what he sade, uh-huh” what part of that sentence would we change? Or a phrase like “might could” which I THINK means “maybe.” I have family in Wisconsin, and there is definitely terms that vary from California-Speak. I wonder what proofreaders do when they have to correct surfer lingo? LOL! At least “Valley Girl Speak” has not made a comeback (and now that I’ve said that, I give it 5 months until it does).

  44. I’m still having a little trouble with “discrete” and “discreet.” It seems as if it could be really hard to tell them apart in a sentence like “We have a number of discreet/discrete issues to discuss in this case.” It COULD mean they have delicate, secret issues being brought to light or they could simply mean separate issues. Can you offer any tips?

    1. That’s where context is a big help, but 90 times out of 100, it will be discrete issues. That’s by far the more common usage.

      1. Okay. I guess when in doubt, mark with a question mark (or whatever the symbol is, not that far into the course yet.

        Still wondering about “OkayOK/O.K.” though.

        1. When in doubt, go with the more formal version. So it would be “okay.”

  45. My students constantly misspell “morale” as “moral” and use “upmost” as “utmost.” Drives me nuts…

  46. I am not sure if this one has already been mentioned, but I see the word “definitely” misspelled all the time. It drives me crazy! Most of the time it is either spelled “definately” or “defiantly”. I guess spell check can easily miss the word “defiantly” since it is an actual word.

  47. This thread is huge, so forgive me if someone posted this example already and I missed it.

    How about “login” vs. “log in”?
    More noun/verb potential confusion as some of the examples above.

  48. I am loving the comments! I am learning so much more! It might take me a while to get principle and principal correct, though.

  49. Looking on Craigslist for furniture, I found lots of “dinning” tables. Seriously.

    1. I saw that written on a TV commercial once. I was jumping up an down and screaming at the commercial like there was a football game on!

      Loving this, by the way. I feel like I am in heaven. No one is going to call me “the grammar police” in here! 😉

  50. So when grilling, is there is a lot at steak? Sorry, too bad to pass up! However, I see these types of errors a LOT when proofreading incident reports at work.

  51. I loved all 5 parts of this massive list! On this page specifically liked: tortious/torturous/tortuous. Love learning new words.

  52. One that always makes me feel smart when I catch it is when writers use “tenant” (someone who rents a place) when they meant the word “tenet” (“a belief or idea that is important to a group”).
    Really enjoying the course so far! It’s great to have found other word nerds like me who squirm when they read things like “I except your offer”!

  53. Login vs Log in

    Am I correct that:
    “Login” is a noun or adjective (My login is MaryS1001).(My login name is MaryS1001)
    “Log in” is always a verb (I log in to Facebook daily).

  54. nauseous/nauseated–I hate this one so very much.

    In high school, we studied Strunk & White’s Elements of Style, which taught me the proper uses of those words. From http://www.vocabulary.com–If you’re nauseated you’re about to throw up, if you’re nauseous, you’re a toxic funk and you’re going to make someone else puke. These words are used interchangeably so often that it makes word nerds feel nauseated!


    1. Nauseous/nauseated bother me, too! No one ever pointed it out to me until much later than high school. Now that I know, though, I can’t stand to hear it used incorrectly!

    2. I feel the same way about poisonous and venomous. – one makes you ill if you eat it and one makes you ill if it bites you.

  55. In the trucking world when I read depositions of our 30(b)(6) reps, the CR’s often would confuse signal with single. Cracked me up every time!

  56. This is probably a minor point, but wouldn’t a merchant peddle his wares while a craftsman peddles his craft?

  57. Ok, I’m just beginning my Jumpstart, so maybe I’ll come to this – please forgive. When words are mixed up (“I have one pacific request” instead of “I have one specific request”) we should ONLY correct the spelling because the speaker used the wrong word, right? Or when the speaker uses “then” for a comparison rather than “than”… These are errors in speech and, as such, should be left – though perhaps flagged for the CR to check, correct?

    1. Great question! We should ALWAYS correct misspellings and flag anything that is questionable. In your first example, it is possible the person said “pacific” and perhaps a “sic” should be used; “specific” could also be correct, but that is up to the court reporter. So I would highlight and write “specific? sic?” For your second example, I would highlight and write “than” above it since that is a clear error. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Maia, for the incredibly quick response to my question. I feel I’ve got a team of experts and supporters waiting with bated breath for my every question! Pretty dang awesome!

        1. You’re welcome! The PA community is very helpful! 🙂

  58. Here’s one I haven’t seen yet: using “track” house instead of “tract” house.

  59. Here are a couple that come to mind and bug me when I hear them: Costcos and anyways.

  60. Hi All – Caitlin, you mentioned medical terms – many terms sound very much alike and have similar spellings, so check the content ALWAYS – especially for medications/drugs – I have seen transcriptionists get reamed out for not going to a medical or pharmaceutical reference to check it out.

    Love the lists!! Will come in very handy for anyone with a darn old mental block against some terms!!

  61. Rebarb instead of rebar! Working at a hardware store, I even hear people saying ‘rebarb’! Or rhubarb when talking about rebar… or rebarb when meaning rhubarb!

  62. I see “lead” instead of “led” all of the time in the books I read! I see it so often that I was beginning to wonder if the common spelling had changed over the years and I didn’t get the memo!

  63. How about regimen/regime? I always thought the first one was a routine or course of action and the second was a government group in power during certain time frame. I have seen them used interchangeably but didn't think that was correct.

    1. Ah, I think you might mean regiment/regimen. Here is what Grammarist says: “Regimen is a noun. The word regiment, when used as a noun, refers to an army unit that usually involves two battalions. Regiments may be further divided into companies, squadrons, or batteries. Regiment may also be used figuratively to describe an organized arrangement of things or people.”

  64. A local furniture retailer made a commercial saying he was selling “bedroom suits!” I wish people would question “why would I pronounce ‘suites’ as ‘suits?’ It’s spelled differently so maybe, just maybe it’s pronounced differently! Personally, I would love a new bedroom “sweet!”

  65. Weight vs wait.
    Red read
    silver sliver
    What else do I rag my partner on? Lol

  66. You often hear people use the expression "chomping at the bit" to indicate anxiousness. Actually, the correct term is "champing at the bit," which comes from what a horse does with the bit in its mouth. This is an old expression and so many people use it incorrectly, that "chomping" is becoming accepted. I hate to see proper grammar and expressions become accepted just because so many people don't bother to find the correct answer. That doesn't bode well for the English language. When I see an author or a speaker who uses "champing" I always think very highly of their intellect!

  67. there/they're/their



    Do people know the difference?

  68. I don't know if this has been covered, and I hope I've got it right. "Lay" vs "Lie". Lay means put: lay your burdens down.
    Where it bugs me is when reporters say, "he will lay in state." It should be "He will lie in state." I assume news organizations have people who check on these things, but I've heard it over and over.

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