Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spel Chek

My wife and I ate at the Hofbrau in Interlochen after attending another wonderful concert by the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, a fantastically good orchestra considering the relatively small size of the city.

As luck would have it, my seat was facing a wall decorated with posters from various breweries. One from Stella Artois caught my eye:

Pleasently bitter with a refreshing finish – its drinkability creates a unique taste verses other European lagers.”

Not to be a nitpicker, but here’s a case where spelling matters in promoting a sense of competency, trustworthiness, and professionalism. I deliberately ordered another brand of beer as a silent protest. It reminds me of a sign that I saw in a local deli identifying muscle salad. There was no way in hell I was going to pay for that.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists 202 words ending in –antly and 300 words ending in –ently. The message is clear: always consult a dictionary before committing something to print.

Verses comes from verse, a form derived from the Latin vertere, to turn, because the writer turns to begin another line. Versus comes from a Latin word meaning against.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

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