Typos Hurt Your Writing: Ail, Bail, Dail, Fail, Gail, Hail, Jail, Kail, Mail, Nail, Pail, Rail, Sail, Tail, Vail, Wail, and Zail
Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.weebly.com. Like some of the previous blogs we are exploring typographical errors. Words that look almost the same, but have different spellings and meanings. To find more use the hashtag: #TyposHurtYourWriting.
I understand how important it is to have a manuscript free of spelling errors. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that typos give many writers problems. Less than perfect typing can create hidden errors. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as came, dame, fame and game. The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. The Hyper-Speller at Word Refiner is dedicated to exposing all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.
Now, onto today’s episode!
Do not let it Ail you! Wow! We have 17 words that end in AIL! That means you have 16 chances out of 17 to type the wrong word and the spellchecker will miss it. I hope that by focusing our attention on this group of words your writing will never suffer from this typographical error.
Ail means to sicken or afflict, make trouble for.
Bail is what we use to get out of jail until our day in court. It can also mean to get excess water out of our boat so we don’t sink. Let’s not forget the handle on our bucket is called a bail also.
Dail is an obscure word referring to the lower house of Parliament when the Irish Republic was formed in the early 20th century. I wonder if Scrabble would accept it.
Fail is the opposite of winning. Some say a second place finish is the first loser.
Gail is a name taken from Hebrew that means joy.
Hail is frozen rain, it weighs too much to stay in the cumulonimbus clouds in the sky. It also means to call or get attention. You will want to hail a cab if you are in the hail.
Jail is a place where most of us would rather not be. That is when we use bail to get out temporarily.
Kail is a green leafy vegetable that is very popular in some quarters; okay, you got me, this is an alternate spelling of kale.
Mail is something that makes us feel special when we get it. Somebody cared enough to send us something. Unless it is unsolicited advertising or bills.
Nail is something used to attach two pieces of wood together. It is also the hard smooth surface on our fingertip.
Pail is a bucket. We can use a pail to bail water out of the boat.
Rail is a handle to help us go up or down stairs. A pair is necessary for the train to ride on.
Sail is used by non-motorized boats to travel on the water.
Tail is the south end of a north bound dog. A tail can tell you a lot about what a dog is thinking.
Vail is an archaic word that means to take off your hat or crown to show respect. It is also a popular ski town in Colorado.
Wail means to cry loudly or with a high pitch, in extreme grief. If you can’t bail your boat fast enough with your pail then you should wail loudly for help!
Zail is another old word. It refers to an administrative unit of villages in India during the British rule.
There they are, seventeen words with similar sounds and the same last three letters. If you use the wrong word the reader might feel like they tripped over an invisible string and close your book, because it is too hard to figure out what you are saying. Do everything in your power to prevent that from happening, do not give your reader a reason to close your book. 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 Typos Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner; for more Hazardous Homophones and Terrible Typos search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
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Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
Copyright © 2016 Mark L Schultz
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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