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The Friday Five - Five Words You're Mistakenly Using In Your Novel

FAIL. Yep, I FAIL all the time when I'm writing a novel. Usually because I'm typing so fast, I don't feel like I have time to go back and correct my mistakes. That's what later is for. Even though that red squiggly line is telling me I goofed. But sometimes that red squiggle doesn't appear because you've used the wrong word, just in the wrong context. It's Friday, you're going to learn something. Let's check out some commonly mistaken words on today's
1) Do/due - I make this mistake all the time. You can see it frequently in my blog. "You'll have to make due", I'll say. *Buzzer noise* Nope, it's make do. D'oh.
Make do means you can get along without something.
Due means something owed, or something proper.

2) Foreward/forward - Separated by a wee 'e', these two words have very different meanings.
Foreward - an introduction or notes before a document.
Forward - to go ahead, to move, at the front.

3) Horde/hoard - A horde we can hoard. Hopefully of nekkid fellows.
Horde - A large group, troop, or tribe.
Hoard - To accumulate.

4) Troop/troupe - Aha, got you, didn't I? I used troop in the example above.
Troop - A group of people in the military or police.
Troupe - Typically a theatrical or musical group.

5) Discreet/discrete - Um, I got nothin' here. Just...stop using them wrong, okay?
Discreet - To be secretive, not attract attention to.
Discrete - Distinct, separate.

Bonus round:
Lightning/lightening - I always, always without fail $%&@ this one up.
Lightning - That crackly electric stuff that comes out of the sky.
Lightening - The opposite of making something dark or heavy.

Check your manuscripts, kids. Get those words right. Your editors will thank you. Another bonus round, I screwed up cow's udder with utter. My editor caught it and probably shook her head. I was so ashamed.

It's Friday, go, be, do.


  1. Great stuff here. I know I've missed Lightning/lightening and troop/troupe before.


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