The title of this post might be clever if laundry was my subject, but the correct word is close (and that was a close one, wasn’t it?). Spell-checkers look the other way when we use the wrong word—but that’s not their job. It’s ours.
I caught a humorous misuse the other day on a blog written by a well-known photographer—describing a famous location, he said it never fails to illicit Wows! when he visits. After a hearty laugh he updated the post to elicit further comment.
AccuWeather tried to sneak one by this week, too, when they said “Any additional shower or thunderstorm activity this evening into Thursday will only exasperate the flash flood threat in Iowa and other Midwest states.” I’m sure they were reaching for exacerbate, although I have no doubt the folks in Iowa were truly exasperated by those heavy rainfalls.
When I write anything approaching 500 words I often print a hard copy and read it twice—I grew up with typewriters and don’t completely trust computer monitors (or my errant fingers). Even that may not be enough to eliminate every error, but thankfully I can rely on sharp-eyed readers like you to set me strait when I stumble.