September 2015

10 Word Pairs Even Experts Mix Up

As an editor, part of my job is to make sure that published material is correct. Words that sound alike but have different spellings are a common source of error. Most writers quickly learn the correct usage of who/whom, its/it’s, and their/there/they’re. But some sound-alikes are tricky enough to trip up professionals, too–especially when we’re on a tight deadline or have a cat strolling across the keyboard.

Here’s a list of ten word pairs that I’ve seen used incorrectly in recently-published books, magazines, and authoritative blogs. Have you misused any of these words? You’re in good company! Even editors make these mistakes, sometimes.

Creating Edu Materials for Emotional Resonance

Emotions play a large role in the success of any educational endeavor. We all know the importance of grit -- the stick-to-it gumption behind many stories of success -- but why, exactly, is grit needed in the first place? The emotional landscape that a learner embarks on is less a straight trajectory towards success and more a bumpy arc of successes and shortcomings: I understand; wait, I don't understand; this stinks that I don't understand; I hate this lesson; I'm stupid; I hate math; wait, I think I understand!....