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.