“This book really
peeked .. peaked .. piqued my interest.”
Don’t be shy now. Whether you’re guilty of committing this grammar slip-up or not, we’ve all seen it at one point or another. It tends to appear quite often when discussing books. The problem here is that these three are homophones – words that sound the same (and may be spelled the same) but differ in meaning.
peek: to look or glance quickly or furtively, especially through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer.
- the pointed top of a mountain or ridge.
- a mountain with a pointed summit.
- the pointed top of anything.
- to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, especially by some wound to pride: She was greatly piqued when they refused her invitation.
- to wound (the pride, vanity, etc.).
- to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.): Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip.
- to arouse an emotion or provoke to action: to pique someone to answer a challenge.
Think you can keep them straight?
*All definitions from dictionary.com
What did I miss? is a new feature here at The Grammarian’s Reviews. I thought it was about time I feature weekly updates and highlights from both here and other bloggers. So let’s get on with the recap!
Grammar: a love/hate relationship — My thoughts on being a grammar lover, and grammar nazis.
[review] White Cat by Holly Black — The first book in the Curse Workers series. Highly recommended!
My “real life” experience with reading and books — Part of Armchair BEA week, in which I discuss how my family came together through their love for reading and Harry Potter.
The Best of 2012 — Part of Armchair BEA week, in which I single out my favorite book of 2012, and list some upcoming hopefuls.
An Introduction — My kickoff post for Armchair BEA week, in which I interview myself.
In other news, I acquired Red Glove AND Black Heart by Holly Black – the next two books in the Curse Workers series! I’m soooo excited to begin reading Red Glove, especially because I’ll be reading along with Amanda. Book buddies ftw!
I also participated in Armchair BEA this week (for a second year), and while it was fun at first, the fun quickly tapered off halfway through, which was a bit of a bummer. I really enjoyed it last year. This year just didn’t click with me. Too much focus on Beyond the Blog stuff left me unable to participate, which ultimately just sucked all the fun out of it. However, I ended up meeting some pretty cool people that I now enjoy talking to on Twitter. So yay!
I’ve also gotten better at scheduling posts! Just about all of this week’s posts I’d scheduled in advance! It made me feel so… productive. So I’m definitely trying to get posts finished ahead of time. It’s a time saver and means I don’t have to scramble around after working all day, trying to put something together. I’d rather take my time with my posts and provide better content. I think it’s been going well. I’ve been getting a lot more feedback on posts and seen a tiny increase in traffic to the site. Whether there’s a correlation between these things or not, I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to take it that way.
Got a Kindle, or thinking of getting one? — Amanda talks about the pros and cons she’s discovered over the course of a year with her own Kindle.
Cialina reviewed Red Glove just after I happened to finish White Cat — Her review made me super pumped and hopeful to continue the series!
Online book clubs — Amanda at LIO, while talking about how she goes Beyond the Blog, mentioned her online book club. I had no idea such things actually existed. Sure, I’d heard of them before, but for older people. But what really caught my attention was that Amanda’s club employs Skype for communication. How frickin’ awesome is that? Reading and talking about books? Online? I’d love to organize something like that, if it were possible and garnered enough interest/availability.
Sarah posted some beautiful shots of NYC — With this past week being BEA week, I was hardcore longing to be in the city; these pictures helped to make me feel like I was there, if only for a few seconds.
Grammar: it’s not for everybody. Even though I like to think (and argue) that it is.
But I’m not blind. When I talk about grammar or my love for editing, the conversation goes a little like this:
No, I’m not a genius. And just because I love grammar and editing, it doesn’t mean you need to be a.) passive aggressive, or b.) afraid.
Whenever I’m asked about my feelings pertaining to grammar, I make sure to stress that I neither want you to be intimidated by grammar nor thinking that you can’t understand grammar. No one should feel intimidated by grammarians or grammar lovers; not all of us want to shove good grammar in your face, or look down upon you for your lack of grammatical knowledge.
But what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Of course, the mean ol’ scary Grammar Nazis. Beware! They’ll tear your text apart and leave you bathing in your own, pitiful tears!
Let’s settle this: Are there such peoples as Grammar Nazis? Unfortunately, yes. I’ve seen them with my own eyes. But here’s the difference between them and myself: they’re not true grammar lovers. A lover of grammar would want to help others with their poor grammar skills, would want to teach, would want people to feel good about grammar. Grammar Nazis make people think they’re inadequate and unintelligent, and that’s downright shameful.
But let’s also look at the other side of the coin: some people just have a total disregard for grammar – intentionally. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who’ve flat out told me they hate grammar and don’t think it’s important. It doesn’t matter what I do, think, or say; they can’t be convinced otherwise. Does this depress me? Absolutely. But am I going to try and convert them to be Grammar Lovers? No.
It may seem silly, but you can’t force someone to use and practice good grammar.
I’m a self-proclaimed grammarian. I’m the nerd you see reading grammar books, like Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. I’m the one running up to misspelled banners and signs, whipping out a Sharpie and making corrections to save any group, business, what-have-you from unneeded embarrassment. I can’t help it. I love grammar, but I hate that it receives so much flak.
When I started The Grammarian’s Reviews, I never intended to lecture anyone about grammar. I don’t personally think it’s an effective method. So I tweaked the teaching aspect to provide Grammar Bits, which I like to think are fun, quick ways of getting little bursts of grammatical knowledge. No, I can’t force anyone to implement my help in their own writing. And no, I don’t go around correcting everyone’s grammar. Sure, you’ll see the occasional tweet about a grammatical slaughter I’ve come across, but I will never specifically call someone out on their grammatical errors.
I just love grammar, and I love sharing my love of grammar with all of you.
“THE CHEESE REALLY COMPLIMENTED THE SOUP.”
Can you spot the problem here? That’s right! Compliment is used incorrectly. The correct word to use in this instance is complement.
COMPLIMENT: an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration.
COMPLEMENT: something that completes or makes perfect.
If you use compliment, the story goes a little like this:
Cheese: Hey, Soup. You’re, uh… you’re looking very nice today. You taste great, too.
Soup: Why, Cheese, I’m flattered! Thank you!
If you use complement, the story goes like this:
The savory, salty cheese works well with the sweetness of the soup, creating a balance.
Unless you’ve got a bunch of magical, chattering foods, your cheese should never be complimenting your soup. Now I hope you’ll all remember this little cheese story before you decide which form to use.
REMEMBER: Just because they sound the same doesn’t mean they have the same definitions!
*All definitions from dictionary.com
Long before I became an English teacher and claimed my language nerd status, my biggest grammar pet peeve was cemented. To this day, nothing makes my brain hurt more than seeing people mistake your for you’re or you’re for your. These two words are so different in meaning that no one would make the mistake of switching them, if people bothered to take a second to think about what they are saying.
You’re is a contraction of you and are. You is a pronoun and are is a verb. Together they create the two most important parts of any English sentence: the subject and the verb.
Your is a possessive adjective. Adjectives describe nouns. You all know what nouns are.
I am sure a lot of people think a mistake is harmless. I mean, people still know what you mean, right?
Nauseated : To be feeling, or having been caused to feel nausea.