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All Too Often Misused and Missmelled Words

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  • All Too Often Misused and Missmelled Words

    Did I just hear a collective groan? I don’t blame you, and believe me I’m not trying to be officious in writing this, but if you want to be a good script writer, then these things are important.

    Here’s a list of all too often misspelled and misused words that people need to be aware of. It’s not a complete list, by no means, so please feel free to add to it, and together we all become better at our craft.

    To / Too
    People mix these up a lot.
    Too: means - Also, Besides, or Excessive
    To: used as a function word to indicate movement or an action, or condition.
    Example of too: Are you going too?
    If you can exchange it for the other meanings (Are you also going?), you know you’re using it in the right way.
    Example of to:
    “Are you going to the house?”
    “To” is a preposition connecting the sentence to an action.

    Their/They’re/There
    I hate to sound like a word snob, but when I see people misuse these words, it makes me cringe. So let’s get it right.
    Their means: his, hers, or its.
    Example of use for "Their": “Their house was on fire.”

    They’re means “They are”
    Example of use for They’re: “They’re going to the house fire with marshmallows.”
    There means a place.
    Example of use for There: “I was there watching the house burn.”

    All Right /Alright
    Just remember, if you’re spelling it “Alright”, it’s all wrong. Spell it “All right”, and it will always be right.

    Its / It’s
    It’s means “it is”. Whenever you can exchange “it is” with “it’s”, you know you’ve got it right.
    If you can’t exchange “it’s” with “it is”, then you know it should be “its”.
    Example: “It’s going to be a great day.” See, you can exchange “it’s” for “it is” “It is going to be a great day.”
    Example: “Its head fell off” You wouldn’t say “It is head fell off”, so you know not to use “it’s” in this way.

    Conscious / Conscience
    Yeah, this is a tough one, but an easy way to remember it is through word association. Just remember if the word ends in “science” as in “conscience” it won’t weight heavily on your conscience. Just be “conscious” of how you use these words.

    Effect / Affect
    Here’s another teaser, but a good way to remember which one to use is this: Effect means to influence, and Affect means to be emotionally moved by the effect.
    Example: “Her crying affected him.”
    Example: “The lasers created a strange effect.”

    Accept / Except
    Accept mean to take or give, and except means to exclude.
    Example: “He accepted the award for Best Actor.” Or “They accepted the gift I gave them.”
    Example: “He chose all the colored balls, except the red one.”

    Then /Than
    Than means to compare, and then refers to a time.
    Example: “I would rather be alive than dead.”
    Example: “We didn’t know why at first, and then we did.”

    Your / You’re
    You’re is short for “you are”, while your is possessive “Is this your bar of soap?”

    Pique / Peek / Peak

    His curiosity was piqued when he peeked through the window at the mountain peak.

    Also when you write numbers
    except people's ages you should write the numbers like this
    131= one-thirty-one

    Unfortunately, too many people seem to think that the apostrophe before an "s" always signals possession, when it often shows a contraction... It's related to the its/it's and your/you're

    /Alot/ is not a word. Period.

    /Only/ is the most misused word in the English language. I only want one hot dog=wrong.. I want only one hot dog=correct.


    Who vs. That.
    /Who/ is a PERSON, /That/ is an OBJECT. They are not interchangeable.
    I have a brother that is a lawyer...wrong.
    I have a brother who is a lawyer...correct.
    I have a roof who leaks....wrong [this one's rarely used--if ever]
    I have a roof that leaks...correct.

    Weather/Whether
    Easy way to remember these two

    Weather is when it rains
    Whether, meaning which or which ever, is spelled with two "H"s

    quiet and quite

    I am quite tired of the quiet room.
    Last edited by Director; 03-20-2013, 02:42 PM.

  • #2
    Pique / Peek / Peak

    His curiosity was piqued when he peeked through the window at the mountain peak.
    2001 Productions Web Site

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    • #3
      I totally should print this, and post it next to my computer. And keyboard. Possibly on the refrigerator.
      Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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      • #4
        Also when you write numbers except people's ages you should write the numbers like this
        131= one-thirty-one
        P/S : Why alright is wrong? I've used it many times before.

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        • #5
          You may have used "alright" many times, but that doesn't make it proper English usage.

          http://http://grammar.quickanddirtyt...s-alright.aspx
          Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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          • #6
            Well I suppose that's all right then.

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            • #7
              I'm going to disagree with you on "alright."

              That's one of those words that is controversial, but unlike the rest of your list, it is not universally agreed to be wrong. It will likely be considered correct by more and more people as time goes on.

              Merriam-Webster:
              The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing "the first two years of medical school were alright" — Gertrude Stein.
              Grammar Girl:
              It seems pretty simple: go ahead and use “all right” as two words, and stay away from “alright” as one word. But the esteemed Brian Garner (6) notes that “alright” as one word “may be gaining a shadowy acceptance in British English.” And the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style (7) seems to contradict itself. It states that “alright” as one word “has never been accepted as standard” but it then goes on to explain that “all right” as two words and “alright” as one word have two distinct meanings. It gives the example of the sentence “The figures are all right.” When you use “all right” as two words, the sentence means “the figures are all accurate.” When you write “The figures are alright,” with “alright” as one word, this source explains that the sentence means “the figures are satisfactory.”

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              • #8
                On a side NOTE;

                Keep in mind that some characters in your script will not have perfect english: Just something to remember
                Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue

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                • #9
                  Definitely, Nick.

                  When I'm writing Dialogue, grammar goes out the window if that's not how that character would speak. Spelling is still important although there are time when I will use things like 'em instead of them to show how a character is speaking.

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                  • #10
                    LOL someone is a grammar snob...

                    j/k

                    I find that there are some industry professional who will COMPLETELY dismiss a script because it has "annoying" spelling mistakes whether it's fair or not. And the truth is, as a writer you should take enough pride in your work to get it right. But honesty, we are all human and imperfect, so the majority of them are taught to ignore typos and misspellings and focus on the story because guess what... your writing isn't going to show up on screen.

                    So while learning and improving is always, ALWAYS good, I wouldn't advise obsessing over it. Just my thoughts.
                    Last edited by BRJPeyton; 03-06-2013, 07:25 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Let us not forget: Irregardless vs. Regardless... Is Irregardless simply Regardless with delusions of granduer, or does it mean the opposite of Regardless? Or is it simply not a word, except it gets said all the time... sadly including by me.... heh.
                      Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin View Post
                        Let us not forget: Irregardless vs. Regardless... Is Irregardless simply Regardless with delusions of granduer, or does it mean the opposite of Regardless? Or is it simply not a word, except it gets said all the time... sadly including by me.... heh.
                        "Irregardless" is a double negative: both "ir" and "less" mean without.
                        So it's "not without regard" which means "with regard."

                        Yeah, I know...headache inducing.
                        But that was my initial reaction, and I found this to back me up:
                        Grammar Girl : Irregardless Versus Regardless :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™
                        Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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                        • #13
                          Oh my god "irregardless" is one of the most annoying things people every say. It's almost as bad as "could care less." Please don't say either of those around me, or I will find myself struggling desperately not to kick you really really hard! ;-)

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                          • #14
                            What really doesn't help is that spell checkers accept it, IN SPITE of it not existing!
                            Find me on Twitter: [at]Shadoe_Fox

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kevin View Post
                              What really doesn't help is that spell checkers accept it, IN SPITE of it not existing!
                              That's one more reason - of many - to have people whose opinion and/or knowledge you value read your script.
                              Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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