Posted by: episystechpubs | November 19, 2013

Editor’s Corner: There, there, little ones.

My thanks and appreciation to Donna for taking over so I could enjoy a week of fun and relaxation. The California Coast was warm and inviting.

One of the stops we made was inland a bit, to a Danish-American village called Solvang. In Solvang, I noticed something I hadn’t seen since our last voyage much farther away (Belgium and the Netherlands). It seems there’s a new bank in town! Indeed, it is based in the Netherlands, and I would like to go on record as saying this place needs a new marketing department. Here is its logo, which is bad enough (silhouette of a single, faceless man in a dark leotard) but come on! Is this the name of a bank, or is it a command?

Yep. I thought it was a joke when I saw it in Holland. “Honey, I’m going out to Rob-o-bank. Do you need anything?” Yikes.

So, before I left, I asked you all to send me your questions, concerns, and peeves relating to the English language. Here is the number one peeve from your fellow Jack Henryans:

Please cover the difference between there, their, and they’re!

Your wish is my command.

There, their, and they’re are homonyms, which are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different definitions. My guess is that most people know the difference, but when you take dictation from the voice in your head you hear one sound (rhymes with “air”) and type whichever spelling comes most naturally (probably there). This just means you should double-check your meaning when you re-read what you wrote.

In case you don’t know the difference between these three words, here you go:

· there – in that place (not here); at that point in a process
Please put your purse on the shelf up there so my dog can’t reach it.

· their – belonging to certain people, animals, or things
Parents all think their kids are “the best.”

· they’re – contraction of “they are”
I talked to the painters; they’re coming by after the job on Fir Street.

Befuddled by these and other homonyms? See the previous Editor’s Corner editions from January and February.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

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