Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'm really not doing this to criticize...

I'm a decent speller but far from perfect. I look things up all the time when I'm not sure how to spell them or if it's really the proper usage of a word. It's all part of being a bit of a perfectionist. I do not, however, fault others for not being like this...not usually.

The other day I was reading MSNBC's Red Tape Chronicles and eventually started realizing how I was taking those comments that were muddled with rampant misspellings and word misuse much less seriously than those that were not. I found it consuming more and more time to confer true meanings rather than just being able to read what was written and understand.

My least favorite words to read right now, only because I can't remember the last time I read either of them used properly? Quiet and quite. I actually checked "quiet" in the dictionary before writing this post to make sure I hadn't gone crazy and wasn't just wrong because every. single. time. I've seen the word used lately, it should have been "quite". And, the same applies for using "quite" instead of "quiet"; as a matter of fact, that's probably what I've encountered more often. Because the letters are all the same and only the last two differ in order, I realize that these could easily be typos rather than people not knowing what word they're using, but the amount of times I've seen these recently (easily more than a handful of times in the past month) combined with the fact that I haven't seen their proper usage even once recently seriously made me wonder if my memory was failing and if I was going to have to retrain my brain to not interpret these words incorrectly, and it had begun to irritate me to no end. Does no one else reread what they write three times after hitting publish and feel compelled to edit and correct? I know that is likely to be very rare, and I honestly don't know why I'm so obsessive over such trivial things such as spelling because I am certainly not prone to obsessive tendencies in other aspects of life that are more consequential, like being punctual;>

So, in order to get this out of my head, I must pass on the following:

Quiet: 1. marked by little or no motion or activity (a quiet sea) 2. not interfered with (quiet reading) 3. free from noise or uproar (quiet time)

Quite: 1. wholly, completely (not quite finished) 2. to an extreme (quite sure) 3. to a considerable extent (quite near)

4 comments:

Lazy Lightning said...

"Does no one else reread what they write three times after hitting publish and feel compelled to edit and correct?"

I do.

briliantdonkey said...

Eye due two. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Seriously, yes I do too. How serious I am about doing so though, depends on what I am posting or writing. If it is some kind of actual story I am anal about it. If it is only a 'fun post' I am much more prone to just catching the obvious stuff. I DO have some words that for whatever reason I simply can NOT spell to save my life. The main example is "their". Is it 'I before E" like the rule says or is this one of the exceptions? I have to look it up every. Single. Time!(including that one)

BD

Anonymous said...

Ironic that, in a post about the misuse of the words quite and quiet (when it seems you really meant the mistyping of those words), you actually misuse a word.

confer means ' to have a conference in order to talk something over; "We conferred about a plan of action" '

I think you meant to write infer and not confer.
infer means:
deduce: reason by deduction; establish by deduction
generalize: draw from specific cases for more general cases
deduce: conclude by reasoning; in logic
guess: guess correctly; solve by guessing; "He guessed the right number of beans in the jar and won the prize"
understand: believe to be the case; "I understand you have no previous experience?"

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

anonymous - The definition of confer as I found it in Merriam-Webster when deciding whether to use infer or confer was:

to give (as a property or characteristic) to someone or something

I chose confer specifically because I have to give the words meaning when it is so poorly written, not that I'm deducing meaning since I could be incorrect.

Also, I'm not sure if people are just mistyping or not. Due to the amount of times I'd seen the errors, I'd started to doubt my own knowledge of the words' correct spellings; that, to me, means that someone out there might just be misusing them.