It was this article--about turbans as a fashion trend--that put me over the edge. Specifically, this reference in paragraph 11, which reads, in part:
At a recent party in Manhattan, Keia Hamilton, 28, walked into the room wearing a vintage jumpsuit, a denim jacket and a black-and-white turban that she dressed with a large broach. Ms. Hamilton owned the room.If I were this writer, I would be more concerned with owning a dictionary than owning the room. The jewelry she's describing--a brooch--isn't spelled correctly, but phonetically here. ("Broach" is more often used to refer to an opening: To broach a topic in conversation or open a closed space or box.) Sadly, crimes against homonyms run rampant in the land. Here are a couple of favorites I've been collecting:
- "Doctors without Boarders," perhaps a new group of physicians who resist the renting of rooms;
- A new travel security procedure is causing concern, but fear not: "the TSA, naturally, believes they are safe and meat national health and safety standards." No need to put that rasher of bacon through the x-ray.
This is one of those writing skills that really does get learned through memorization. (Sorry, kids.) Thus, I can point you to lists of homonyms to review over your lunch hour; background on how they differ from other, similar word forms; and even a useful series of self-quizzes. But in the end, you'll need to know the difference by memorizing. These are the proofing devils that spell-check won't catch, my friends. Make it work.
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