Greetings, good Internet people! I’m Opticon’s sidekick, The Deleter. I specialize in exterminating spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors with a vengeance!
I wasn’t the most popular guy in school, but rest assured all those years spent studying proper language use instead of frivolous things like ‘sports’ and ‘dating’ have really paid off! Now, I’m an esteemed Internet superhero who helps well-meaning folks like you break bad language habits so you can confidently deliver your message to the masses without error or embarrassment.
Over my years of scouring the Internet for traces of technical violations I’ve noticed that some similar sounding words confuse many of you, and I’m here to get rid of this confusion once and for all.
Here’s my list of commonly confused words and their proper, and improper, uses.
Accept: To receive
Except: To exclude
As a superhero working in the constantly evolving Web, I must be prepared to accept change, and I will do so like a brave warrior on a new frontier, except when the English language becomes a casualty.
Adapt: To Adjust to
Adopt: To accept formally, or take as one’s own
To my dismay, I had to adapt to my status as a dateless wonder in high school as my female classmates became irritated by my constant need to correct their grammatical errors. Fortunately, the ladies of the online dating scene have been more than impressed by my articulate profile. I hope my new superhero role will cause women everywhere to adopt this opinion, especially when they see how I correct online typos faster than you can say Isaiah Mustafa! (Ahem, Armando — I believe you’re missing an ‘e’ in ‘presence’.)
Affect (v): To influence
Effect (v): To bring about; (n) result
Improper language use in this blog post may affect the reader’s ability to accept the claim that the writer is smart. In fact, the many errors in this post may have an adverse effect on the writer’s credibility.
When I was in school, I would have thought my teacher was taking LSD if she suggested that colors have the ability to give each other compliments. Blue and orange may be complementary, but they’re certainly not being vocal about their admiration for each other.
Lose: To suffer loss
I don’t think Michael Phelps is a fan of anything loose. In fact, last time I checked, he was wearing a pretty tight Speedo! As to whether he should lose his endorsements, that’s another argument.
Principal: Chief person or thing
Principle: A rule of conduct
I agree; a good principal is essential. My principal always stood up for me when I was bullied in high school because of my superior spelling skills. He always did his best to ensure students were living up to the school’s principles of good behavior.
Stationary: Not moving
Stationery: Writing materials
I’ve never been much of an athlete (see my skinny arms for evidence), but I’m a big supporter of more stationary activities like writing, which is especially enjoyable if you’re using nice stationery.
Than: To compare
Then: At that time, or next
Nothing brings me more joy than finding articles on the Internet full of grammatical errors, then showing off my superior skills by correcting them. Chand, please proof your prose!
Don’t Let It Happen to You!
Stick with us, and we’ll help you avoid similar mistakes. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see if any hot grammar teachers are waiting for me on Plenty of Fish..
Follow Opticon and I for our latest tips @Opticon_
— The Deleter
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