Many of you have inquired recently as to when I would return to my Proofreader Pet Peeves with another list. Well, the wait is over. I have scoured my notes from past projects and pulled out three more gems for us to discuss. As with List #1, please do not think of these pet peeves in a negative way. I am sharing them to encourage writers and developers to be aware of proper usage and to remind proofreaders and editors to keep a watchful eye. These are again errors that spell checks will not find without grammar checking enabled. Some text editors do not have grammar checking, so these errors will not be identified at all by those autocheck systems.
- accept vs except
This is a grammatical error I have seen more recently, mostly in documents translated into English by non-native English speakers. Accept is a verb that means to receive or regard as true. Except is a preposition that has to do with exclusion. Native English speakers make this mistake as well because of the phonetic similarity of the two words.
- your vs you’re
Another homophone set that catches a lot of writers along with their/there/they’re as I included in List #1. Your is possessive and means something belongs to you. You’re is a contraction for you are. What you sometimes see in documents is that your is used where you’re should be.
- to vs too
Yet another homophone. Are you seeing a trend? Homophones definitely are something proofreaders and editors have to be very watchful for. Most often, I see to used when it should be too, likely caused by a typographical error missing the second o. This is very easy to overlook when proofreading because homophones do not impact the reading of the sentence, and the word is so small it is very easy to overlook the missing second o.
Proofreader Pet Peeves List #3 is a distant thought that will be mulled over in the coming months. What are your personal word and grammar pet peeves when editing and proofreading? What are pet peeves you have as an art director, editor or publisher that you are willing to share?