Editing Course: Wordplay II

This is the last topic I’ll be writing a post on for this unit. The rest of the unit is all practical exercises and then I’ll have the second assignment to complete. I haven’t received the first assignment back yet, so I’m unsure how I went with that. It might be a good idea to wait until it comes back before I tackle the next assignment.

Also, I’ve injured my shoulder in some way and find it painful to write (longhand) and to use the computer. I feel as if the pain is getting worse each day and it’s time to step back from the computer for a few days and give myself time to heal. It is my intension NOT to use the computer (except at work on Friday because I can’t avoid that) for a period of three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This post was actually written on Thursday night and scheduled for Friday (in case you think I’ve caved already). 😀

Anyway, let’s get back on track.

8: Wordplay II

Words can be confusing. Often they sound the same but have slightly different spellings and completely different meanings.

The Right Word

Practice or Practise?

In the US the word is always spelt “practice”, the spelling doesn’t change with use. However, in Australia and Britain the word takes on two spellings – practice and practise.

1. If you can insert the word “preparation” then the right word to use is “practice”.
2. If you can insert the word “prepare” then the right spelling is “practise”.

1. Peter needs more practice = Peter needs more preparation.
2. Jill needs to practise = Jill needs to prepare.

Effect or Affect?

These two words have different meanings so it’s important to use the right word.

Effect means consequence, appearance, result.
Affect means transform.

TIP: If you can insert the word “transform” then you should be using the word “affect”.

Example: It doesn’t affect me = It doesn’t transform me.

Beside or Besides?

I find it difficult to imagine anyone confusing these two words but apparently they do.

Beside means “next to”.
Besides means “in addition to”.

Mary place the box beside the table.
Besides computers, I enjoy reading and writing.

Licence or License?

Again, the US uses only one of these words, “license”, but in Australia and Britain it changes.

1. If you can substitute the word with “paper” then the right word to use is “licence”.
2. If you can substitute the word with “allow” then the right word to use is “license”.

1. The licence has a photo = The paper has a photo.
2. She isn’t licensed = She isn’t allowed.

Afterward or Afterwards?

They mean the same, “subsequently”.

There is no rule with this one, however “afterwards” is the main form but it is suggested you go with sound.

1. We had lunch at a restaurant; afterwards, when we arrived home, we went in the pool.
2. It was afterward that we discovered it was a bad idea to swim on a full stomach.

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