Homonyms on the web

I’m not one of those curmudgeons who think young people can’t write because of texting, or the internet. Digital natives do a whole lot of writing, and many bloggers and commenters (in the better web sites) are fluent and thoughtful communicators.

However! There is a LOT of confusion around homonyms. I assume it’s because spell check programs don’t offer a correction when you write “She was given free reign.” After all, it’s spelled right. It’s just a total misunderstanding of the metaphor.

A little research shows that helpful grammarians have listed more than 300 commonly confused homonyms, so I won’t try to produce an exhaustive list. I’ll just talk about the more common ones that grate on me the worst. It will be therapeutic for me to get them off my chest.

Continue reading