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Misused Words and Sharing a Scripture

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Information: Misused Words

In a previous post, I listed some common usage errors—words that are regularly spelled wrong and words that sound alike but don’t mean the same thing. In my reading and editing, I’ve run across more. So I’ll share them with you today. And, be aware that the spell-check is not going to catch these errors for you.

Tenets vs. tenants: People who rent property from someone else are tenants. Your religion has tenets, beliefs that are central to the faith.

Councilor vs. counselor: A councilor is an individual member of a council. A counselor is someone who provides advice, usually as part of a job (according to Merriam-Webster). Alternate meaning for counselor is someone in charge of young people at camp.

Plural of words ending in ist: Always add an “s” for plurals of words like tourist, journalist, pugilist, and terrorist. I don’t know why so many people want to leave that letter off. Perhaps, when pronouncing these plural words (example, journalists), we don’t always hear the final “s” unless the speaker pronounces words distinctly.

Spectacular error of the week (seen on a sign): Time to upgrade your ____. Let us upgrade yours’. Be careful where you stick those apostrophes. This one does not need an apostrophe at all. Notice I left out the name of the product. I could have taken a picture, but I didn’t. No need to embarrass the company whose employee made that mistake.

Inspiration: Sharing a Scripture

Last week, I shared quotes about failure. I was still thinking in that vein when I read Romans 8:28. Here some common translations of this verse.

King James: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

New International Version: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Amplified Bible: And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

My first thought? God works for the good in all our circumstances. We can be frustrated, exhausted, discouraged—any feeling that keeps us from fulfilling our purpose in our writing. Still, God is working for the good. God’s purpose may be different from ours, but God works with us and in us to make our purposes coincide.

Second thought? To me, there is a big difference between the KJV (“all things work together for good”) and NIV (“in all things God works for the good”). The Amplified Bible clarifies it for me. It is God who causes all things to work together. I found two articles that clarify this question for me. Check them out.

They both say that every single thing in our lives cannot be considered good. But, the focus is on the sum total of all events, as Alcorn says. Rev. Graham uses the analogy of table salt, which is made up of sodium and chloride. Both elements are poisonous if taken separately. But, in a compound, they comprise salt, which is needed for life.

Third thought? Does God cause all things to work together only for those who love him? Rev. Graham says, in the above-referenced article, that we must be lovers of God. Otherwise, we cannot claim this promise. I’ve run out of time to research this aspect, so I welcome any input from readers.

Readers, what do you think? Comment on this post and share commonly misused words you’ve run across. Or share your thoughts on Romans 8:28. If you get this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

4 Responses to Misused Words and Sharing a Scripture

  1. Cecelia Lester September 24, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    The credit union where my husband banks built a new main office building. On either side of the front door were plate glass panels. They had a message on them that read:”This is a smoke-free premise. Please do not smoke here” Every time I saw it, I wanted to go in and tell them their error. When the state passed a law about not smoking in public buildings, the sign changed. I wish I had taken a picture of the before and after sign.

  2. paula September 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    In Toastmasters, we have a very short section of our agenda reserved for someone to share a Word of the Day. During the meeting, members try to intelligently use the word when they’re on the platform speaking. Occasionally, someone will, instead of offering a word, explain the difference between two words that are often confused or sound alike. It’s more of a grammar lesson and since we also have a Grammarian who watches for slips in our speech during the meeting, this is a boon to our journey in becoming better communicators.

    Elude and allude are a couple words that come to mind. Also, mischievous is not pronounced mis-chee-vee-us. It’s mis-chi-vus (short i’s and short u). Rhetoric is pronounced with the emphasis on the rhe, not the tor. However, when we say something is rhetorical, the emphasis is then on the tor.

    You could probably post something about this topic every week and never run out of material, Emily. I mention Toastmasters because of the above practice, but also because when writers are asked to speak in public or market their books at signings, etc., it can always help to have learned better communication skills.

  3. Emily Akin September 24, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    Funny. If you go around telling people about the spelling and grammar errors on their signs, you’d have a full-time job.

  4. Emily Akin September 24, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    Yep, there is an unlimited supply of grammar, pronunciation, and spelling errors. I try not to let the signs bother me, but the one I mentioned in this week’s post was so glaring.

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