13 (More) Frequently Misused/Confused Words
"Than" denotes preference of one thing over another (I'd rather drink a strawberry milkshake than a banana one).
Why is this important? See illustration below:
(Yes, I've seen this mistake a few times. Disturbing, isn't it?)
"This has been happening a lot, lately, hasn't it?"
"Alot" does not exist.
(Although Hyperbole and a Half had a fantastic post on the subject.)
It's never "of".
You should have, would have, could have, and so on. Some folks think this confusion came from the sound of the spoken contraction: People saying "Should've", "Could've" and "Would've" sound like they are saying "of", but they're not. I beg you - stop doing this!
"Where" is a direction.
"Were" is the past-tense of "to be".
A "shutter" is what you put over a window to protect it or to close it.
A "shudder" is like a shiver, an involuntary shaking of the body, usually happening when one is exposed to something unpleasant.
If you "lose" something, you can't find it (so it's lost).
If it's "loose" you need to tighten it - or you will lose it.
"Prey", however, is something which is being hunted, or the act of being hunted. "The mouse was the cat's prey."
"Advice" is what you give someone when you "Advise" them in regards to something.
"He remained stationary while everything else bobbed and weaved chaotically around him."
"Stationery" relates to writing materials - paper, pens, envelopes and so on.
If someone says something nice to you, they've given you a "Compliment".
If something completes something else or enhances it to some degree, it is a "complement" to it.
An "Effect" is the resulting change in something which has been altered or acted upon. "The scent of ginger has an invigorating effect on many people."
The "palette" refers to either the board an artist mixes colors on or to a range of colors.
A "pallet" is a low bed or the wooden platforms items are transported on (also called "skids").
And no, I'm not saying I'm perfect. I make mistakes too.
I'm just doing my part to make the world a little more grammatically correct.
Now I'm going to kick back and do some editing, some writing, and then I'm going to relax.