Letter from Dick Bulinski
Orthography – December 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine
In the November issue, the Spellchecker let you down. I don’t know how you do this, but it needs to be told that:
princiPALS are either friendly people or money (too many people seem to think that money is your best friend);
PrinciPLEs are rules of behavior, conduct, etc.
I’m wounded by the implication that I don’t use a dictionary. Actually, I keep a dictionary, an AP Style Book, and five English usage guides on my desk, and use them often. I also know — at least in principle — the difference between principal and principle; affect and effect; farther and further; flaunt and flout; gibe and jibe; imply and infer; and nauseous and nauseated … and still make too many mistakes. But I comfort myself by noticing that mistakes happen everywhere — and occasionally some even have a certain winsome impertinence.
Some recent favorites: a charity collecting old “coots” rather than coats; a bad “air” day; Bryant accused of “roping” teen; “old-fashioned loons” rather than looms; and “cowbody” instead of cowboy.
Did you enjoy this story?
Help us continue to provide exciting, informative content.
SUBSCRIBE to the print edition of Colorado Central Magazine.
Only $25 for one year. CLICK HERE NOW.