Writing Tip #6: Watch Out for Misused Words

I see it happen all the time. Nope, they’re not typos. They’re misused words. They may sound alike, but they are nothing alike.

Here are the most common ones I’ve seen:
farther and further: Farther refers to distance; further refers to extent or degree
lie and lay: In the present tense, lie means to rest; lay means to put or to place
foreword and forward: Foreword is a noun that means an introductory note or preface; Forward is an adjective or adverb that means toward the front:
it’s and its: It’s is a contraction for it is; its is the possessive form of it
past and passed: Passed functions as a verb; past functions as a noun, adjective, or preposition
than and then: Than is a conjunction used in making comparisons; then is an adverb indicating time
their, they’re and there: Their is the possessive form of they; there refers to place; and they’re is the contraction of they are.
your and you’re: Your is the possessive form of you; you’re is the contraction you are

There are also misused words that don’t sound alike:
each other and one another: Each other is used to refer to two people; one another is used to refer to more than two people.
number and amount: Use number to things that can be counted; use amount for things that cannot be counted.

Don’t forget to check your emails and manuscripts for misused words before sending them out.

To see a longer list of misused words, check out my resources:
Easily Confused or Misused Words
The Little Red Writing Book

A Must-Have for Writers

Last year for my birthday, my pops gave me a book, and not just any book. It was The Little Red Writing Book, by Brandon Royal. 

From first glance, I knew it would be a helpful tool in my writing adventure, but silly me
didn’t touch it until recently. I opened it a few weeks ago and am now wishing I did it sooner.

This book covers everything you need to know about writing. It talks about structure, style, readability and grammar, and the sections are organized and easy to read. There are also examples and exercises that help you learn with ease.

I thought I knew a lot about writing, until I read this book. I’m using what I’ve learned so far and am writing and editing my manuscripts differently. (Thanks pops!)

If you want to improve your writing skills—get this book! It’s a must-have for all writers.

Happy reading!