One Man’s Garage Sale Is Another Man’s Garbage

Language allows us to communicate with one another, whether it is verbal, written, or signed.

Even with all the power language gives us, we occasionally have a few slip-ups that can be confusing or misleading. This makes it all the more important to “write right” because even one out of place word can confuse readers and lower your credibility.

In this, the 8th episode of the Article Content vs. Real Life series, we illustrate how these subtle nuances of language can wreak havoc on what you intended to say!

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If you want to avoid your articles being taken out with the trash, keep this in mind: Spell Check isn’t infallible! Spell Check commonly misses words that may be spelled correctly, but they are entirely in the wrong context.

Always proofread your work to make sure you won’t end up like our poor garage sale guy. Here are some examples of the most commonly misused words we find in articles:

  • Lose vs. Loose – You can lose weight, but you can’t “loose weight.” Lose means loss, and loose means something is or has been released or something not firmly held in place.
  • Ensure vs. Insure – You can ensure your friend’s safety, but recommend they insure themselves and their property. Ensure means to make sure, and insure is to compensate in the event of damage or a loss.
  • They’re vs. Their vs. There – “They’re getting their lunch over there.” “They’re” is a contraction of “they are.” “There” is a location that may be neither here nor there. And “their” denotes possession.
  • Your vs. You’re – When you are at the top, you’re your own enemy! “You’re” is a contraction of “you are” and your denotes belonging/association a person.
  • Then vs. Than – “Rather than watching television, we had tea and then wrote articles.” Then is soon afterward; than is used for a comparison.

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