Tag Archives: WORD WAR

Word War is BACK – Affect/Effect

Word War

With Cac, the Proofreader

WORD WAR is back. I will be doing these each Tuesday, and they will be much shorter than before…at least I will attempt that! Let’s go!
Affect v. Effect.
Affect is ??????? a verb. It means to impact or change. Transform. “How did that affect you?”
Effect is ??????? a noun, at least 90 percent of the time. If you’re discussing cause and effect, and you’re referring to the end result, use “effect.” Quick hack: they both start with “e.” “Did you feel an effect from the earthquake?”
An ez pz way to determine which one to use? Ask yourself the question “What is this word being used for?” If your answer describes a conclusion or outcome, effect with an “e” is the correct choice. All others, you can safely use affect with an “a.”
There are exceptions to just about every WORD WAR in our beautiful language. I choose to lay out the most commonly used.
Got your own WORD WAR? I welcome them!
Reach me here: cac@cactheproofreader.com or 833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638.
????’? ?? ????? & ??????-???? ???????!

Word War with Cac the Proofreader – Understanding Jokes…


• An Oxford comma walks into a bar where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.  
• A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly. 
• A bar was walked into by the passive voice. 
• An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening. 
• Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.” 
• A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite. 
• Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything. 
• A question mark walks into a bar? 
• A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly. 
• Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out — we don’t serve your type.” 
• A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud. 
• A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves. 
• Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart. 
• A synonym strolls into a tavern. 
• At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack. 
• A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment. 
• Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor. 
• A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered. 
• An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel. 
• The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known. 
• A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph. 
• The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense. 
• A dyslexic walks into a bra. 
• A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines. 
• A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert. 
• A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget. 
• A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.


the pen is mightier than the sword!

Cac The Proofreader
Committed. Accurate. Consistent.

Word War with Cac the Proofreader – Allusion, Illusion & Elusion

Here we go again! It’s WORD WAR time! Today I’m bringing you something that is extremely confusing to so many: ALLUSION vs. ILLUSION vs. ELUSION. Let’s get to work.
ALLUSION: figure of speech describing something, either direct or implied, often a comparison.
Example: “He’s such a Romeo.” The reference to Shakespeare’s Romeo implies he’s very romantic.
ILLUSION: refers to a deceptive appearance or impression, a false idea or belief. It tricks the brain into thinking something that isn’t there, is. unreal into a real.
Example: “David Copperfield’s sudden appearance of a Cadillac on his stage is just an illusion.”
ELUSION: describes the act of hiding from or avoiding.
Example: “Elusion of these words is easy as long as you remember their meanings and uses”
Feel free to send me your WORD WAR! I’d love to share it right here for all to enjoy!
For your proofreading needs (and soon to be copyediting!), I am easily reached via the below:

Word War with Cac the Proofreader – Already or All ready?

It’s WORD WAR time! Today I’m giving you a double dose of fun! ALL READY vs. ALREADY. This is actually very simple.
ALL READY means exactly what it says: completely ready, or all prepared, all done.
Example: “I am ALL READY to eat dinner.”
ALREADY means to come before, prior to a specified time.
Example: “Dinner has already been served.”
TIP: If you can replace the word “ready” for “all ready” and the sentence still makes sense, use the two words.
COULD OF is actually incorrect usage of the English language. Due to the fact that many folks who speak the phrase omit the “h” when saying “could have,” it’s assumed the proper spelling would be COULD OF, simply because of how it comes out. ALWAYS use COULD HAVE.
And there you have it: two for one!
Feel free to send me your WORD WAR and I’ll put it up right here. For your proofreading needs, contact me below:

Word War with Cac the Proofreader – FEWER/LESS

Cac The Proofreader back with another WORD WAR! Today, LESS versus FEWER is on tap. And it can be quite tricky.
LESS basically means not as much and is used when you cannot count the items you’re referring to; in other words, if it’s a singular “mass” noun. Ask yourself if the noun in your intended sentence will be working with a countable or uncountable noun. Examples are: water, space, love. “I’ve been drinking less water than I used to.” Not an item you can count. “There’s less space in this closet.” Again, uncountable.
FEWER means not as many and is your choice when the noun IS countable. Example: “As my dog ages, she has fewer accidents.” “I make fewer grammatical mistakes since my training.” Both of these are countable noun items.
A great example for incorporating both words is: “If fewer people used disposable water bottles, there would be less plastic in landfills.” Countable and uncountable, respectively.
BIG TIP: A good way to test that a noun is truly uncountable is to try making a plural out of it, i.e., “I’d like fewer milks, please.” Doesn’t make sense, does it? Milk is not countable.
I hope you learned something today and that these make for smoother, stay-in-the-zone writing!
Send me your WORD WAR. I’d love to dissect it for all the world to benefit from.

My contact information is as follows:

833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638 HAPPY WRITING!

Word War with Cac the Proofreader

It’s WORD WAR time! Let’s examine apostrophes, as they seem to be very widely misused and abused! Apostrophes are primarily used for three things: Let’s go…easy to more complex.
1) Contractions. Apostrophes replace omitted letters. In the phrase “They’re back,” the apostrophe replaces the “a” in the omitted word “are.” “Don’t do that.” The apostrophe replaces the “o” in the omitted word “not.”
2) To show possession of a noun. “That is the dog’s collar.” The collar belongs to the dog.
3) To form an “awkward” plural. “There are two m’s and two c’s in accommodation.” Without that tiny punctuation mark, ease of readability goes down and the sentence misunderstood.
Lastly, and super confusing for folks, is the use of the apostrophe when forming possession with a proper noun ending in “s.” Then it breaks down even further depending on whether that noun is singular or plural.
Examples: “That looks like James’s car”: singular noun here. However, what if James was the last name of the people living under the same roof? It would read: “The dinner was at the James’ home.”
This conversation gets deeper and a bit more complex. Feel free to reach out if you’d like more details and examples. For now, we will leave it right here!
I’m Cac The Proofreader. I would LOVE to dissect your WORD WAR, and perhaps even proofread your next project! Visit my site for more information: cactheproofreader.com.
Direct line: 833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638

Word War with Cac the Proofreader

It’s WORD WAR time! I’m Cac The Proofreader, and today I’m serving up ME, MYSELF AND I, another one I see consistently misused.

I am going to simplify this for you so your confusion will be a thing of the past!

ME and I. “Between you and I” is incorrect because the word “I” cannot be the object of a preposition (between). Even though the former sounds more scholarly, it is wrong. “That is a gift from my wife and I.” The phrase “my wife and I” cannot be the object of a preposition (from); therefore, the sentence needs rephrasing. The new and correct structure should read, “That is a gift from me and my wife. “Contact either me or your manager” is an example of a sentence that most people think is grammatically incorrect (as opposed to “myself”), but in fact it complies with grammar rules.


You can only use MYSELF if you’ve used the word “I” in the sentence. Example: “I made it myself.” Do not use “myself” because you think it sounds more formal or polite, as in “Send any complaints to the manager or myself.” The correct usage is “…to the manager or me.”

In summary, and quick tips: * “MYSELF” must always have the word “I” in the sentence. * “I” cannot be the direct object of a verb. And there you have it! EZ PZ, right?

If you’d like me to dissect one of your WORD WARS, drop it below, email me at cac@cactheproofreader.com, or just pick up the phone: 833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638.

Lastly, If you have a writing project in need of proofreading, please let me know. You’ll find my information on my website: cactheproofreader.com. HAPPY WRITING!

Word War with Cac the Proofreader

Cac The Proofreader back with another WORD WAR, and this one’s a double dose of fun! We’re going to look at two words, each of which has two spellings and different meanings. So I should say we’re looking at four words! Let’s dive in…
ALTOGETHER means “completely,” “in total,” even “all in all.” Example: “Altogether, I spent a thousand dollars.”
ALL TOGETHER means everyone or everything together, as “in one.” Example: “Put the dogs all together in one pen.”
A tip: If you can separate the words “all” and “together” and the sentence makes sense, that’s your cue that it takes the two-word version. Example: “Put all the dogs together in one pen.”
And for the other set, I’ll be short and sweet!
ALRIGHT is really not a word, no matter the circumstance…in both American and British English. Sure, you will run across it in books, manuscripts, and informal writings, but in the education and editorial world, it is not acceptable. Moral of that story…JUST. SAY. NO!
ALL RIGHT. Always use this form and you’ll never be wrong. The one-word version may make its mark over time and be considered acceptable, but it isn’t just yet. So until that day comes, stick with ALL RIGHT!
And there you have it! Just in case you have trouble deciding which way to go, be sure to use the tip I gave you earlier; that will always set you on the right track.
If you’d like for me to pick apart one of your WORD WARS, feel free to drop it below, email me at cac@cactheproofreader.com, or just pick up the phone: 833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638.
Lastly, If you have a writing project I can support you with, please let me know. You’ll find my information on my website: cactheproofreader.com

Word War with Cac the Proofreader

“Cac The Proofreader back with another WORD WAR! This is a word that is SO commonly misused/misspelled, and it is something I see pretty much daily: The word “it.”

ITS versus IT’S.

IT’S actually quite simple–pun intended! One shows possession; one is a contraction/combination of two words. If you want to show possession, omit the apostrophe.

Example: “I wonder where its owner is.” If you want to say “it is,” just combine those two words and simply use “it’s,” as in “It’s over there.” Short, sweet, and simple, right?

Let me know if YOU have a WORD WAR that stops your writing flow. My mission is to eliminate those “stops” so you can continue creating that wonderful content we all enjoy!”

Introducing Cac the Proofreader and her WORD WAR

I’d like to welcome Cathy Stiner to my blog with her WORD WAR. Cathy is a proofreader and has her own business called Hawk Eyes Proofreading. I will be blogging Cathy’s WORD WAR items every week and they will go out on a Monday. What I liked most about Cathy’s posts are the simple and quick explanations she uses. I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts. Remember, they will be here each Monday. Meanwhile, you can find her contact details at the end of this post if you wish to connect with her.

Cac The Proofreader here, with Hawk Eyes Proofreading!

This marks the beginning of my WORD WAR column. Each week (sometimes twice) I will put up common mistakes I consistently run across while proofreading your projects and thought maybe you would like to head them off before they make it into someone else’s hands…or eyes! After all, the more corrections we proofreaders make, the longer it takes us, and the more dollars it costs you, the author. That is NOT our goal! Our goal (or at least mine!) is to make you look good…NO…make you look GREAT! This one is quite simple: ACCEPT vs. EXCEPT. 
ACCEPT is to receive something {perhaps a gift} or regard it as proper {accept the idea}. Example: I accept the fact that I am a big word nerd.

EXCEPT something is to exclude it or leave it out. Example: I like them all except that one.

If you have a question about what I’m posting, please don’t hesitate to contact me. OR…if you have a WORD WAR of your own you’d like me to address, simply email me and I will add it to my rapidly growing list.
I’m Cac The Proofreader, and I’m at: cac@hawkeyesproofreading.com. The web address is: hawkeyesproofreading.com 833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638. The Hawk Eyes Proofreading Facebook page is in the process of being rebuilt. In the meantime, you can go to my personal page: Cathy Bozof Stiner.

There are many more WORD WARS contained there as well as a look-see as to who I am and what I’m all about.