Pesky Words, Their Kith and Kin


Words are kind of like kittens.  They can be fun and enjoyable and very often cute, but they can also cause a lot of trouble … especially when you least expect it.

The more writers use words, the more they realize how darned similar many of them are in several different ways.  First you have the homophones.  As much as you may want to raise your skill in writing, synoptic misfires can make you feel like you’re more prone to raze your skills, instead.

There are plenty of the “commonly misused” words to watch out for.  Although how a kitten can affect your life when you bring one home can lead to an unintended effect, I don’t wish to imply that Kitty will infer that basket of clean laundry is a world-class litter box.

Sometimes it’s not so much the words themselves that are a problem but the way you arrange them.  Dangling modifiers or participles are notorious for messing up your intended meaning.  Reading the riot act, the kitten stayed out of the basket implies a cat that can read should know better than to mess up your laundry.

Last, but definitely not least, is the plain old typo that creates a different word and therefore spellcheck won’t catch it.  You may be tempted to toss that frisky feline out into the snow, but I recommend you never throw it out into the snot.

Ah, the joys of writing and adopting kittens are not so different after all ….

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