#WhyWriteWrong – New Meme, Perhaps?


Been thinking for some time about starting a new writing meme, and after searching around on Twitter for a phrase not currently in use, I think #WhyWriteWrong might work. Basically, it’s just my way of introducing the occasional post on mistakes I spot while reading. Especially the ones that really jump out at me, pulling me out of the story long enough to think (or sometimes yell) “Noooo! That’s just wrong!” I’m hoping this idea might be helpful and/or fun.

My first post is the one freshest in my memory. (Gotta grab those stray thoughts, while I can!) I recently read a very good book by an author MUCH more renowned that I’ll ever hope to be, and it was an entertaining story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Except for the fact that the author persisted in “wrecking havoc,” not once, but several times. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase, one does not “wreck” havoc. One “wreaks” havoc. Not spelled the same, not pronounced the same. (First one, of course, is pronounced, “reck,” and the second “reek.”)

I’m pretty sure this mistake isn’t rare, though I didn’t expect to see it made by this author. So, I figured I’d share it here, as a reminder that creating mayhem and tearing things apart, willy-nilly, is “wreaking havoc.” Of course, one can leave behind a wreck if one wreaks enough havoc. That’s a given. But “wreak” and “wreck” are not interchangeable. Honest.

And there you have today’s #WhyWriteWrong post.  We all have words and expressions we misuse, so I’m thinking this could be of help. Yes? No?  Maybe?

What do you think?

DISCLAIMER:   I am not a grammarian or English professor, but I promise not to post something under this meme that I haven’t verified with those who are.


35 thoughts on “#WhyWriteWrong – New Meme, Perhaps?

  1. This is a good idea. So many get this one wrong. What about for all intense and purposes or for all intensive purposes instead of for all intents and purposes. These are like a fingernail on a blackboard and yet, I am sure I have made similar mistakes as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like the idea, Darlene. And yes, “intents and purposes” gets messed up a lot. I might make a #WhyWriteWrong link in the menu, where I can add things you guys suggest, even if I haven’t had a chance to do a post on them. It would make for a quick reference. And btw, the only people not making mistakes are those who aren’t doing anything. 😀 I learned that a long time ago, and it’s just as true today as it was then.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for various things to share. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always find these writing tidbits helpful…but you’ll have to see how everyone else reacts. In my early blogging days, I wrote similar posts. I tried to help other authors learn when to use “lie” or “lay” and “who” or “whom,” and I was met with resistance. You may have a more receptive audience, one that enjoys a wake-up call or an occasional reminder like I do. So, I say, go for it! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for weighing in, Linda. I’m not planning on grammar tidbits. Folks will have to learn those on their own, or have a good editor, like mine, who usually catches my errors. I’m thinking more in terms of just using things wrong, perhaps mishearing the correct version. I once knew someone who would say, “Well, that’s part for the course, isn’t it?” I figured she was even less of a golfer than I. 🙂 But that type of thing is very common with some phrases and words, and if it’s obvious enough to leap out at me, then I think it might make a good post. Fingers crossed. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • That used to bother me, too, but in America, at least, it has become the norm. I guess most people don’t understand that what they are actually saying is “lounge lounge.” 🙂 I see newspaper ads with them listed that way, so I suspect that one’s never going to get corrected. Thanks for taking a moment to comment. I think this is going to be fun, myself. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Good meme idea, Marica. I especially like the tag you came up with.

    Wreck and wreak is a good one, though I can’t say I’ve come across it used incorrectly. I have encountered other slip-ups when reading and always wonder how they made it through.

    For myself, I constantly have to double check myself on effect vs. affect. For some reason I just have a mental block on the rule for that no matter how many times I commit it to memory!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OH, I agree. Affect and effect drive me crazy! Some things just don’t want to click into place, and that’s one of mine, too. So it’s always good to double check. I use Smart Edit during my revisions (before I ship a chapter off to my editor), and it pulls up a list of words often confused, and the sentence where you used one, so you can be sure you did it correctly. Affect/effect, knew/new, knight/night, etc. Most are easy, and you’d only mess up via a typo, but a few are trickier, like affect/effect, and I always try to look very closely.

      Glad you like the new meme idea. I’m not going to plan a set day, like I do with Monday and ThorsDay, but will do it when I see something that looks like it needs attention. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha. Don’t know if anyone would actually TYPE that one, but I do hear people mispronounce it now and then. Glad you like the ideas, and I’ll try to keep it interesting. 😀


    • Are you reeking OF havoc? Having wreaked it hither and yon, to the point of working up a sweat, perhaps? Eww. Hit the showers, man!! And when you no longer reek, you may resume wreaking. (Huh?)

      Liked by 1 person

    • My father used that all the time, no matter what I said. But, brace yourself, I’ve seen at least two reference books saying it’s okay now, because so many people do it. WHAT? Of course, there are also reference books that claim because so many people use “literally” when they mean “figuratively,” it should be changed, too. So, I guess if enough people are wrong about something, it makes it right? Somehow, I don’t think so. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that a lot of people like the officious sound of “irregardless,” whether a genuine word or not. The word “literally” should never be used for emphasis (She was literally exhausted.). I expect the rules for lie and lay to change as well, since everyone is “laying all over the place”! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • That last one makes us sound like a coop full of hens!! 😀

          I saw at least TWO different dictionaries accepting the use of “literally” as being the same as “figuratively.” Both said it was now fine to use it that way, BECAUSE people do. HUH????? People say a lot of things that are incorrect. It shouldn’t mean we change the dictionary for them. And saying isn’t quite the same as writing, either. All bets are off with dialect, of course, but generally speaking, aren’t we supposed to strive for proper grammar in our writing? I understand trends evolve, and new slang words come along, but again, there are appropriate places for those, and the basic definition of a word shouldn’t change because people use it incorrectly.

          And yet, that seems to be happening. It’s discouraging, to say the least.


  4. Great one, Marcia!
    We see these all the time, and it’s great to point them out so we don’t make the same mistakes ourselves. I recently had it pointed out that I was confusing ‘peak’ and ‘peek’. It was actually because of spellcheck, which obviously doesn’t point out such misuses, but I am now extremely careful about which I use where.
    My personal bugbear (as a rider) is people who use ‘reign’ when they mean ‘rein’. You most certainly do not ‘reign’ someone in, yet I see it all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha. That’s a good one, too. And here’s a secret, just between you and I. Don’t tell anyone else. 😀 I know of a series that I enjoyed for years, wherein the author always referred to ears being docked. Now I’m not a rider, but I’m pretty sure tails are docked, and ears, specifically dog ears, are cropped. Isn’t that how it goes? Or did I miss something? Been meaning to ask someone about that for awhile. Might as well be our resident equestrienne.


  5. What a great idea ! I’ll have to keep my eyes open. It’s so easy to just “read over” our own errors because she know our work so well, but with all the copyeditors a publishing house has, I’m always surprised when I see a mistake like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • From what I hear, Liz, editors of any kind are becoming more and more rare at publishing houses. Perhaps that’s why I see typos and other errors popping up right and left in the traditionally published books of some very well known authors. (Wrecking havoc being one. Errrm. One error, not one well known author.)


  6. LMAO! I cringed at your “wrecking havoc” but thought…it’s a typo. I’ll refrain from saying anything in the comments because that’s rude.

    I love this meme so much. #WhyWriteWrong is going to be awesome. The grammatical errors are annoying but I do love the idea behind this meme. Misuse of words and/or phrases is cringe-worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, this author in the book I have in mind used the phrase far too many times for it to be a typo. Plus, I’ve heard people actually SAY “wrecking havoc.” It’s just one of those things people sometimes never realize they are mistaken about. Glad the idea of this meme works for you. I suspect we all have a “wreak/wreck” somewhere that we aren’t aware of, and hopefully, this will be of help. I expect to learn new things, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • No! I thought YOU wrote “wrecking havoc” in your post. 😀 Reread that sentence. I thought you were saying she was wreaking havoc until I got to your next line and realized you were quoting her. It was ironic and funny.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I reckon (wreak-on?) it’s a good thing you read a bit farther, then. I’d to have anyone think I’d wreck havoc, especially in public. 😀

          We are going to have fun with this meme, I think. That’s my Plan, with a Capital P. 😉


  7. These are helpful to know and reminds me that at the end of the day we’re all human no matter how loud our voice becomes. It’s quite reassuring to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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