Homophones Hurt Your Writing Peak, Peek, Peke, and Pique

Welcome to this edition of Homophones Hurt Your Writing. Like many of the previous blogs we are looking at homophones. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.

I understand how important it is to have an error-free manuscript. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and hitches.  The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers.

Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing the document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve.

Now, onto today’s episode, number 6 in the series of Quadruple Homophones!

 

These four words present an interesting group. They are related by sound only, true homophones. Two are English and one has multiple meanings, one is Oriental, and one is French. They are all from the last half of the previous millennia, and two have been in use in the English language for less than 200 years.

Peak is a widely used word, it functions as a noun, verb and an adjective. It has a history going back several hundred years in the English language. It is also an archaic word with a rather startling twist, as we shall see later.  At the core, it means top or point, like a mountain or a graph. It also can refer to a person’s or group’s abilities or popularity. It has many synonyms such as summit, climax, acme, and zenith to name a few. It can refer to facial features such as a widow’s peak or the peak of a beard.

In the United Kingdom it can mean the stiff brim of a cap. It can also refer to an extension of a sail on a sailing vessel.

In one sense perhaps, peak is its own antonym, an opposite meaning in health. In the early 17th century it was part of a phrase “peak and pine” that meant to shrivel or waste away. We have William Shakespeare to thank for that. Perhaps, he was making a joke, and we are simply too removed in space, time and culture to appreciate it.

Peek has a similar multi-century history as part of the English language, as does the previous word. It is a slightly sneaky word, it means to take a quick or furtive look. We can peek around a tree, we can peek into someone’s background (the internet has made that easier than ever in a number of ways) and play peek-a-boo with a child. It is a singular word in usage and definition.

Peke is our word from the Orient, it is the youngest word of this group in the English language. It is an abbreviation of Pekingese, a small dog with long hair, short legs and a pushed in nose. This lapdog was introduced in the 1860’s to Europe from Pekin, China; now known as Beijing. It was a very popular dog with the aristocracy of both civilizations. It is common for Pekes to have difficulties with breathing.

Pique is one of many words that have dual citizenship in both the English and French language. It actually has a split personality because it can be pronounced two different ways, more on that later. Primarily, from the middle of the 16th century, it means to feel resentful or irritated because of a perceived insult. Some synonyms are petulance, indignation and vexation. It can also be a verb and means to stimulate or irritate, it can be either positive or negative.

The second pronunciation is not a homophone to the others: “peekay”. It is from the same time approximately as Pekingese, and it means a stiff fabric woven in a raised or ribbed pattern. The literal translation of the French is “backstitched”.

 

There they are, four words with identical sounds, an entangled history and rather unrelated definitions.  If you choose the wrong word the reader will feel like they hit a speed bump and might drive off your road.  Do all in your power to prevent that from happening.  Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing.  Follow us on twitter: @wordrefiner  for more alerts about hazardous homonyms #HomophonesHurtYourWriting.

Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on wordrefiner.com 

I also have another exceptional value for book promotions on the Review Your Book tab of my website.

 

Words have meaning and spelling makes a difference

Homophones Hurt Your Writing: He proved his Mettle and gets a Medal made of Metal, don’t Meddle

Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought. Like many of the previous blogs we are looking at homophones. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
I understand how important it is to have an error free manuscript. With over 40 years of proofreading experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and difficulties. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as vary and very, or must, mist and most. Two of these words fit this criteria.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.

Now, onto today’s episode! Third in the series about Quadruple Homophones. High score!

​Four way homophones are few and far between. I am pleased to present another set.
​Medal​ is a disk made of ​Metal​ to signify or commemorate an achievement in a contest, or to commemorate a military campaign. Sometimes with a ribbon to wear around the neck or hang on clothing.
​Metal is commonly a solid material made from refined ore dug from the earth. Gold, silver, and steel are very common forms of metal.
​Meddle​ refers to the act of undesirable interfering in something or someone’s business. A busybody snoops on other peoples business.
​Mettle​ is a positive characteristic of a person. It refers to the ability to persist and overcome in difficult circumstances.

There they are, four words with identical sounds.  If you use the wrong word the reader might think they hit an invisible pot hole while driving/reading and lose the reading momentum you worked so hard to build.  Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to not finish your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought.  Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more alerts about hazardous homophones search for  #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on my website. I have another excellent value for authors interested in promoting their book, see the “Review Your Book” tab on my website.
Quadruple homophones

Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

I made this Medieval Knights helmet as a project in my third year as an apprentice sheet metal worker. Based on an authentic design. It is made of 16 gauge stainless steel (not authentic to the period, I know, but it wasn’t my choice), three main pieces, and hand riveted. There is no welding or pop riveting. I spent 20 hours building it, 12 hours alone were needed for the riveting. The brass trim was an aesthetic choice to improve visual interest.

Homophones Hurt Your Writing: Dew, Do, Due, and Doo.

Maybe I need a different title, but quadruple homophones are so uncommon, I get excited.  I am open to suggestions for a different title, please leave a comment.
Our selection this week is DewDoDue, and Doo.  These words have been through adjustments over time.  Actually that can be said about most of the English language.
As mentioned previously, when people write or read to themselves they are saying the words out loud in their mind.  Most words have only one way to be spelled correctly. Computer spell checkers excel at correcting these words. However, there are a lot of word pairs, many word triples and the very rare word quadruples that sound the same. Computer spell checkers will not correct these words when they are used incorrectly.
You begin to see the problem now, each of these words is spelled correctly when used in the right context. Faced with a homophone quadruple the writer has a 1 in 4 chance of using the correct word in the chosen context.

Now onto today’s episode! High Score! Second in the series about Quadruple Homophones!

Dew is the moisture that is present on the grass in the early mornings.
Do is slang for Hairdo.  “Nice do” can be a pleasant conversation opener in a casual situation.
Due, library books are due by a certain date.
Doo is what we hope everybody picks up when they walk their dog.

There they are, four words with identical sounds.  If you use the wrong word the reader might think they hit an unnoticed crack in the sidewalk of reading and falter, losing the momentum you worked so hard to build.  Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to not finish your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing.  Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more alerts about hazardous homophones search for  #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on my website. I have another excellent value for authors for promoting their book, see the “Review Your Book” tab. I have well over 100 book reviews on my website.

Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

Typos Hurt Your Writing: The Power of Twelve or Eleven Chances to get it Wrong

Bore,   Core,   Fore,   Gore,   Lore,   More,   Pore,   Ore,   Sore,   Tore,   Wore, and Yore.  An even dozen of some of the commonest words in the English language.  Words that were on spelling tests in elementary school.  Words that have only 4 letters, scrabble fodder.  Words that are so simple we do not give them a second thought, we trust them to be and do exactly what they say.
Look at them again.  Is there a shade of the sinister present?  Is there more than meets the eye?
Look at them again.  They all have the same three letters: ORE.  In and of itself not a bad thing, just one letter, the first letter, different for eleven of the twelve.
Wait, the eighth word is missing a first letter, it is only three letters!  Invisibility.  What you don’t see can hurt you, and your writing.

What is your super power? Mine is Hyper-Spelling, finding the misspelled words that computers miss.
Eleven.  Eleven chances to hide a spelling error that a spell checker will miss.  The list-checker computer cannot consider the context.
I can eliminate the invisible spelling errors so your voice and message come through loud and clear.
Bore is a word that has been a part of the English language for a long time. It has many meanings: to make a hole or drill, to go through a crowd, the inside of barrel of a gun, a person who nobody is interested in listening to, tedious or dull talk, and the past tense of carry. Sometimes this word comes to us from Germanic or Norse through old English.

Core is a word that is enjoying a fairly recent surge in popularity. It refers to the center of something, almost anything, from a piece of fruit to a planet or a star. It’s independent of scale and used in many different parts of commercial life. It’s most recent usage is as an acronym for Congress Of Racial Equality.

Fore is a word that has declined in usage over a long period of time. It has several meanings usually centered around the idea of something placed in front or the front part of something. Sailing ships have a foremast, a forecastle and other things. The major decline of sailing as a means of travel mirrors the shrinking usage. There are also uses of fore in certain specialized situations such as medicine and golf.

Gore has three main definitions and the most used definition came to prominence in the 80s with extreme horror and slasher films. That definition has come to mean the bodily fluids and small pieces of body parts that result from extreme violence. The next definition involves stabbing or puncturing with a sharp object. The final definition refers to something tapered or triangular such as a piece of fabric or material. Dress makers, tailors, and sheet metal workers are familiar with this term.

Lore was much more popular around a century ago than it is now. It means a collection of knowledge or traditions within a particular group. It can refer to legends, mythologies, or special skills. We more commonly see this word as part of folklore. There is a highly specialized definition within the field of zoology: the space between a bird’s eye and it’s upper beak, and the space on a snake’s face between it’s eye and nostril.

More is a word that has a high usage pattern for centuries. Why not, we all want more! This is a word meaning additional amount or beyond a common amount.

Ore is the base of all these other words, and it has it’s own definition. It is a naturally occurring material that contains some material that can be extracted for a profitable use.

Pore has seen a slow and steady increase in usage since 1900. The primary definition means a small opening in skin or a membrane allowing some fluids or particles to pass. The secondary definition is fairly academic, it means to study intently, think or ponder on at length.

Sore is a word that has sunk in the ratings, it doesn’t get as much play as it did over a century ago. Perhaps because we don’t engage in as much physical activity as in the past. It can mean a painful or aching part of the body, also someone is angry because of some insult or slight.

Tore is the past tense of tear. The primary definition involves violent action such as shredding a letter, ripping something from someone’s possession, causing damage. It can also mean to move very quickly or to struggle with a choice. She was torn between serving her country or her church.

Wore is the past tense of wear. The primary definition involves putting clothing or something else on your body for protection or decoration. Secondarily, it involves the degradation of something by friction or some other agent. The constant dribble of water wore a hole in the concrete.

Yore is a word that is used far less now than it was a century or more ago. It brings to mind times long past, it has a heavy nostalgia sense.
There they are, 12 words with similar sounds and the same last three letters.  If you use the wrong word, the reader could feel like they lost their footing and fell down, as they read your book. They may feel like leaving your story because it is too hard to figure out what you are trying to say.  Do everything in your power to prevent that from happening, do not give your reader a reason to close your book. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth reading as possible, keep the magic flowing.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Typos Hurt Your Writing.  Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner; for more Hazardous Homophones and Terrible Typos search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting and #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
Don’t forget the free sample of “proofreading your book” for writers under the “Learn More” tab on http://www.wordrefiner.com/.
I offer another service at a great value, see the Review Your Book tab.

Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

Homophones Hurt Your Writing: Censor, Censure, Sensor and Censer

Today we are looking at homophones. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
I understand how important it is to have an error free manuscript. With over 40 years of proofreading experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer trouble at one time or another. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as vary and very, or must, mist and most. I will be blogging about some of those also.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find these invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books!

Now, onto today’s episode! First in the series of Quadruple Homophones.

Censor provides us with a word many of us are very familiar with: censorship, we have heard it in many places and commonly applied to the spoken or written word.  We tend to get riled up when faced with the specter of censorship!  The Constitution and the Bill Of Rights guarantees our Freedom of Speech.
Censure this involves an official reprimand or punishment.  If a member of Congress is convicted of a crime, this member would also receive a censure from the other members of Congress.
Sensor This is a piece of equipment that responds to an external stimuli.  Many of us have an outdoor light that comes on automatically when dusk arrives.  Many of us have walked towards the door of a commercial establishment and a sensor causes the door to open automatically.
Censer This one is probably the least familiar to most of us, unless you are an avid attender at church .  A lot of churches have a person or persons that light the candles at the front of the church.  The title for the candle-lighter is Censer.
There we are, four words that sound alike; okay, you have to fudge a little pronouncing the second one, don’t be a spoilsport.
I have avoided censure by replacing the sensor for the censer, so there is no need to censor my post.

There they are, four words with identical sounds.  If you use the wrong word the reader might think they hit an invisible tree root and lose the reading momentum you worked so hard to build.  Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to not finish your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more alerts about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on the internet.
Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on my website, wordrefiner.com. I also offer an excellent value for authors seeking to promote their book, see the “Review Your Book” tab on my website.
#QuadrupleHomophones

Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

How can I serve you today?

Homophones Hurt Your Writing: Pair, Pare, and Pear

We are looking at homophones today. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. They can really mess with your writing.
I understand how important it is to have an error-free manuscript. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and difficulties. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as must, mist and most. These three words have vowels that are beside each other on the keyboard.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these invisible errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.

Now, onto today’s episode!

Pair has multiple meanings of course, like so much of the English language.  We will consider two of them today:

First is to put two things together. Like pairing a wine with a particular food in a meal.

Second is to have a pair of apples or two of anything.

These two definitions are similar but not the same.

Look how Pair contrasts with Pare, this homophone is quite the opposite in meaning.

Pare means to reduce or make smaller.  When you Pare an apple, you are removing the skin of the apple, thus making it smaller.  You can also Pare a list of 7 items down to 3.

Pear, we have been talking about fruit, so we cannot ignore the third homophone of this set.  What a wonderful thing to eat, a ripe Pear, they can be so sweet and juicy or firm and crisp in taste, depending on the variety you eat.  I prefer the former personally.

 

We have our triple, two of the words even have the same letters; but in a different order.  The possibilities for hidden errors to creep into your writing are nearly endless in the English language because a computer spellchecker will not catch the correctly spelled word in the wrong context.

If you use the wrong word your reader might think they tripped on an unseen bump while reading and lose the reading momentum you worked so hard to create.  Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to abandon your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing.  Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more information about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on Twitter.
Don’t forget the #freeoffer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on my website. I have another excellent value for authors interested in promoting their book, see the “Review Your Book” tab on my website.

#HomophonesHurtYourWriting

Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

The next question is: How can I serve you?

The Power of Eleven and One Chance to Get It Right!

We are going to examine the -EST words with four letters.

Why?

Because, by simply typing the first letter wrong of any of these words, you might create a hidden spelling error. These are all words that are already in your spellchecker, therefore this misplaced word will not be flagged by your computer. Other people will likely see it and your work of perfection is marred.

We do not want that to happen to you. Word Refiner is here to help.

Onto our Evil Eleven!

Best that which is ultimate or highly favored. We have our best friends, foods, movies and more.

Fest is an abbreviation of festival, it’s also an event or a show with a designated focus, like a chocolate fest.

Gest this is a little obscure, perhaps; a story of adventures and heroic exploits.  As writers, we love obscure words, don’t we?

Jest this is a joke or humorous story. Mrs. Word Refiner’s favorite joke:

What did the fish say when she hit the wall?         Dam!

Lest this is an odd word because it is usually used in a situation where fear is a component: He drove slowly lest he get a speeding ticket.

Nest a dwelling place built by birds and other animals.

Rest what we like to do after working hard on a blog or a book.

Test Something people in school are required to take as a measure of their knowledge.  In reality, we all have tests everyday of many different kinds.

Vest an article of clothing worn over a shirt, and sometimes under a jacket as well.

West one of the four points on a compass, also a reference to unlimited opportunity in the famous phrase: go west young man.

Zest a passion for life and adventure, also a cooking term for a hint of flavor added with a piece of citrus peel.

There you are, eleven words that can give you grief unless you exercise great care.  Word refiner exists to help you with this, spelling is our specialty.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Typos Hurt Your Writing.  Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more information about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on Twitter.
Don’t forget the #freeoffer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on my website. I have another excellent value for authors interested in promoting their book, see the “Review Your Book” tab on my website.

#TyposHurtYourWriting

Words have meaning and spelling makes a difference

How can we serve you today?

Homophones and Typos Hurt Your Writing

My name is Mark and I am your Hyper-Speller.

What is Hyper-Spelling? It is my unique talent to find spelling errors in published books. I am your spelling proofreader.

Do I find spelling errors in a lot of books? Yes, I do, I find spelling errors in over 95% of published books, mainstream publishers included.

How many books do I read in a year? On average I read a book a week, that’s 50 to 55 books each year. I review most of these books also, my book reviews are located at https://www.wordrefiner.com

Do I ever find a book without spelling errors? Yes, one book a year on average is spelling error free.

I love to read and I hate spelling errors because they interrupt the pure pleasure of reading. I hope you will enjoy my posts as I talk about words that can trip most any writer at one time or another.

What is Word Refining?

Most any dictionary: Refine– to remove impurities and imperfections, to make purer.

horse shoe molding

Like a blacksmith with heat, hammer and anvil; I work the written word, purifying all spelling errors, to bring clarity to your message and voice. I have been doing this kind of work for all types of literature, fiction and non-fiction, casual and technical. For over 40 years I have refined many types of spelling errors which fall into 4 main categories:

  1. Misspelled words- words that are commonly caught by the spellcheckers on our computers. Some computers apparently do not have a spellchecker or the writer chooses not to use it. I see this type of error more frequently than expected.

  2. Misplaced words- words that are correctly spelled but used in the wrong context. Most spellcheckers are not very good at context. These types of errors are commonly caused by homophones and typographical errors.

  3. Missing words- words that are not there but should be.

  4. Multiple words- a word used too too many times in a sentence; like this sentence.

Of these errors, #2 is what I see the most. There are many reasons that these errors are so prevalent; not the least of is, that the English language is such a hodgepodge of bits and pieces of other languages, it is full of words that sound alike and have different spellings. These words are known as homophones and there are thousands in the English language.

Homophones that nearly everybody might be familiar with includes: to, too, two, or do, due, and dew. There are a lot of them in our everyday life, one of my favorites is right, write, rite, and wright. Quadruple homophones, are rare as a four-leaf clover. I will be doing a series on these homophone groups.

Typographical errors are caused by less than accurate typing. It is quite easy to write a correctly spelled word by typing only one letter wrong. Must, mist and most is a good example, the second letter of each word is different and all three of the vowels are side by side on our qwerty keyboard. Thank you Mr. Qwerty for that big favor. 😉 There are other ways to make a valid word with typographical errors. I will write about many of these types of errors also.

Because so many of us have become accustomed to thinking like we speak, we write what we hear in our head without always taking the time to verify the proper spelling. If the spell checker sees a correctly spelled word on its list, then an invisible spelling error is created. It will sit there, silently smirking, until it is exposed and corrected. My mission is to reveal these errors and set writing straight.

The downside here is that we are constantly represented by our written words, if words are not correctly spelled, then we have not put our best foot forward. We may find the first impression we give is the only opportunity we get. Poor spelling can cause us not just problems but can cause us unanticipated hardships. In this competitive world we live in, it is essential to our success to always be at the top of our game in every way possible.

So, write right like a wright for a rite. I will be talking about these quadruple homophones and others in the future.

Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

Search for my hashtags online: #HomophonesHurtYourWriting and #TyposHurtYourWriting

How can I serve you?

You can always find me at https://www.wordrefiner.com and I am Twitter a lot https://twitter.com/wordrefiner