Which one is correct: nuclear or nucular? I bet you’ve heard both versions, but nuclear is the winner in this case.
In my public relations program at BYU, every student had to write for BYU’s newspaper, The Daily Universe. I was pretty proud of my writing skills, and the trust I gained with my editor, when one of my articles ran on the paper’s front page. Topic: the use of correct grammar. I picked up a fresh copy and everything looked great, but then I started getting emails. “You wrote an article on grammar and you spelled it ‘grammer?’” “Um, you might want to use spell check the next time you write an article on grammar.” I was horrified, and as normal when I get embarrassed, my face was flushed red. Did I really spell “grammar” incorrectly? I grabbed a print copy and sure enough, in bold letters above the graphic, the letters g-r-a-m-m-e-r were striking their poses. I ran straight to my editor who had already seen the error and who was quick to reassure me it wasn’t my fault – neither he nor I had anything to do with the words connected to the pictures. It didn’t matter. The copies were made and the best they could do for my name was make the spelling correction online. The emails kept coming, and to this day, I always double check my spelling of “grammar.”
It got me thinking, however, of how many people spell that word, and a number of others, incorrectly. How many people know the difference between you’re and your? Effect and affect? (Effect and affect still get me, to be honest. I try to avoid them if possible.) Here are a list of important, some hilarious, and common mistakes we make in speaking and writing:
Escape – commonly pronounced “ecscape.” (Ek-scape)
Especially – commonly prounounced “ecspecially.” (Ek-specially)
Etcetera – commonly pronounced “ecsetera.” (Ek-cetera) Now we know why we abbreviate it to “etc.”
Across – commonly pronounced “accrost.”
Another – commonly pronounced “nother.” (“I want a whole nother apple.”) Nope, sorry. How about, “I want another whole apple.” Nother doesn’t exist in the dictionary. At least to date it doesn’t.
“I could care less.” I think what you mean to say is, “I couldn’t care less.”
I’ll be the first one to admit to using “nother,” but a few of these others are like nails on a chalkboard for me. What are some words and sayings I’ve missed? I know there are plenty of them floating out there!
Ashley Jones practices public relations for Deseret Book. She loves writing, emailing her missionary sister, and making/ eating home-made popcorn.