Posted by: episystechpubs | March 25, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Misused Words in the Media

Good morning!

One of my daily English and grammar resources (the Daily Writing Tips website) provided information recently about “near-misses” (words or phrases that have been used incorrectly) in the media. I always appreciate these tips. We tend to trust the media to use the language correctly, but they’re human, and their editors are human, and sometimes we humans just get it wrong. Since the media has such influence, though, I think it’s worth pointing out their mistakes so that we don’t all follow suit.

Here are the offending mistakes:

  • penpointing for pinpointing(pinpoint is a verb that means to find or locate, especially on a map or chart; penpointing isn’t actually a word)
    Many of us don’t pronounce the word pen any differently than we pronounce the word pin. That’s part of the problem. It might help to remember that pinpointing literally means to push a pin into a location on a map, not to use your pen to point to something. As my mom, will tell you, that would be rude.
  • throws for throes(a throe is an intense spasm or pain experienced during labor [a uterine contraction], throw means to use your arm and hand to propel something with force through the air)
    Given the distinctive definitions, we shouldn’t say that we are in the “throws of a crisis.” Firstly, it would be “throes of a crisis” and secondly, maybe we should save that word for women in labor. Just a thought.
  • ruckus for raucous(ruckus is a noun that refers to an uproar or disturbance; raucous is an adjective that refers to making or constituting a disturbingly harsh and loud noise)
    Part of the problem here is that both of these words refer to something noisy. Now that you know that one is a noun and one is an adjective, you should be good to go. Here are some correct examples to help you out:

    • My neighbors complained about the ruckus from my birthday party. (noun)
    • It was a raucous party indeed! (adjective)

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe.

Don’t want to get Editor’s Corner anymore? Click here to unsubscribe.

Do you have a question or an idea for Editor’s Corner? Send your suggestions or feedback to Kara and <a href="mailto:DBurcher.

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: