Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.com. Like many of the previous blogs we are looking at homophones. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
I understand how important it is to have an error free manuscript. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and difficulties. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as vary and very, or must, mist and most.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve.
Now, onto today’s episode!
Altar and alter are words that are misused and misapplied by many authors.
Altar, is a noun and refers to a piece of furniture commonly made of wood or stone, the altar is part of religious worship.
Alter is a verb, and refers to changing something. Alter has gained another meaning, short for alternate. It has been frequently used when talking about someone with Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder: “She has four alters, two are male and one of them is only 8 years old”
If you forget which altar/alter is correct, you readers may think you suffer from MPD. Kidding.
There they are, two words with identical sounds. If you use the wrong word the reader might think they hit an invisible tree root and lose the reading momentum you worked so hard to build. Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to not finish your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more alerts about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on our website.
Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
Copyright © 2015 Mark L Schultz
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
"I'm very pleased with all your efforts. Twitter promotion and proofreading were beyond what I expected with a book review. Your suggestions throughout the process of refining both books helped me immensely. I look forward to working with you again." A.E.H Veenman “Dial QR for Murder” and “Prepped for the Kill”