“I’m weary of anything that looks too easy. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.”
“Be weary of anyone who calls or emails you and asks for your personal information.”
I have to admit that this use of weary is one that grates on my ears every time I hear it (or read it).
However, it’s becoming a more and more common error. And as much as I want to harumph and grumble like the word snob I often am, it’s an understandable one.
But it’s also easily avoidable once you’re aware of it.
Why do we get it wrong?
Weary means exhausted or tired. However, because of the similarity in sound to wary and leery, both of which mean cautious or suspicious, people often get them mixed up.
And the more people we hear making the mistake, the more prone we are to repeating it.
Why should you care?
If everyone’s making the same mistake, why should you care?
First of all, everyone isn’t making this mistake, and it stands out to those who know the difference and chips away at your credibility as a writer. Right or wrong, readers expect writers to be experts in all areas relating to their craft. They trust you to know your words, and many, especially younger readers, learn a great deal of their language skills from what they read.
Second, while a good editor should catch the error, we’re not perfect, either. Things sometimes slip through. And there may be times you don’t even have access to an editor.
Then, there’s the matter of clarity. If you say, “I’m weary of all these offers credit card companies keep sending me,” does that mean you’re tired of all the junk mail piling up or suspicious that they’re trying to rip you off?
Finally, while this error is becoming more common, it’s still quite a way from becoming accepted common usage. Some day the definition of weary may be expanded to make it a synonym of wary and leery, but not yet.
Let’s be precise and deliberate with our words. Be wary of errors and never weary of learning something new.
Most of us know that the names of holidays are capitalized, but there are some holiday names that are capitalized only some of the time. How do you know when to capitalize and when to use lowercase?
With holidays like Christmas, it’s not a problem, but New Year’s Day is a whole other problem. Part of the problem is that we often shorten it to New Year’s and also refer to the coming year as the new year.
As Christmas rapidly approaches, so does the new year. For many of us that means new beginnings, a reminder to reevaluate our lives and the changes we want to make. And we most often go about making those changes through our New Year’s resolutions.
But most of those resolutions fail. In fact, it’s become almost a joke in our society, the futility of starting each January with lofty goals, only to abandon them by February.
I’ve always been reluctant to set big goals because (shockingly!) I’m not real big on wasting energy on futile efforts. But I do have things I want to accomplish. Like you, I have dreams and aspiration, things I want to accomplish in my life.
Most of us go about building new habits in the wrong way, like the people who quit smoking cold turkey, determined to make the change through pure willpower. Sure, some are successful, but most start out with gusto But soon the excitement wears off, the willpower wears thin, and they’re right back where they started in no time.
The same goes for making changes in other areas of our lives. Then, we do the same thing the next year. And the next. And the next.
But if we keep doing the same things we’ve been doing, we’ll keep getting the same results we’ve been getting. If we truly want to make changes in our lives and in ourselves, we have to approach the problem with a different plan.
And this is why I found (and still find, since I’ve read it twice now, bought a copy for myself, and plan to read it again after Mom finishes with my copy) Atomic Habits by James Clear so valuable.
I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, so my book recommendations for the next few months will likely reflect that. But never fear: I’ll have some more fiction to pass along soon.
As we start getting into the thick of the holiday season, I thought Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus—known as the Minimalists throughout their books, podcasts, social media, and more—would be a great book pick for this month.
The holidays seem to get more commercialized every year, especially Christmas. Each December, we burden ourselves, our loved ones, and even the people we barely know with stuff and more stuff. And often, it’s not even stuff any of us want. We just feel obligated to give everyone something.
While I’m by no means a hardcore minimalist, I’ve found some great insights and wisdom in this book and hope you can find value in it, too.
Today’s post is going to be a short one, directed at those of you in sales and marketing, whether that’s for your own small business or for a large corporation. (It also allows me to rationalize voicing one of my pet peeves.)
It’s becoming more and more common to see these two phrases being used interchangeably. However, they’re not the same, and an informal poll among editors from all over the world confirms it.
Most of us decide to become writers because we have a message to share with the world. Unfortunately, our instincts often get in the way of sharing that message in a way that readers can absorb.
I’m just as guilty as the next person. I think of what I want to say. Sometimes (usually), I lay it out in a list or outline. Then, I baldly state what I have to say and wonder why no one responds. It’s a lesson I know in my head but am still working on putting into practice. (See most of my blog posts for examples.)
Are you guilty of this too?
As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the best ways to become a better writer is to become a better reader. So, I’ve dug through the mountains of books I’ve read and loved over the years to come up with one I feel worthy of passing on to you all.
In honor October, the month of Halloween, I’m recommending Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here (almost two months), and life has been busy!
But I’ve been using some of that time to reevaluate, reprioritize, and rethink what this blog should look like and contain in the future. And while I still don’t have a crystal-clear plan, I do have some ideas that I’m excited about and hope you will be too.
A miniscule portion of the living, evolving creature we know as the English language gets passed along to us through the written word. So many of the everyday words and phrases we use came to us verbally, making converting them into a written language with standardized spelling especially difficult.
And while the internet and social media come to us largely through writing, I think we can all agree they have not been a help with spelling and grammar.
In modern American English, we don’t use a lot of diacritical marks (e.g., é, ñ, or ü) in our daily writing and typing.
For example, I had to dig through Word’s list of symbols to find the ones I’ve used so far because I don’t have the keyboard shortcuts memorized. Actually, the fact that they’re not a standard feature of most keyboards is telling.
However, there are some words in the English language where the inclusion of diacritical marks is still recommended. One of the most common is résumé.
Rebecca has a passion for helping you fill the world with great literature and making sure said literature doesn't get passed over for the lack of a little editing.