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Frequently Misused/Misspelled Words and Phrases on sale for only $0.99/£0.99 for a limited time!


Here’s your chance get this 5-star rated self-help book for writers of all skill levels for only $0.99 USD / £0.99 through 3AM (EDT) Apr 23 / 8 AM (GMT) Apr 24.

“I love the whimsical presentation; it keeps you interested.”—Jack Hudler (5 stars)

“reading [this book] isn't like a boring class on grammar, but more of a casual and fun chat. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially writers.”—digsblues (5 Stars), Amazon Australia

“an outstanding reference book...This book is a must for writers [and] students…You will really enjoy this book.”—D Hoffman (5 Stars)

“Five stars.”—wayne josie (5 stars)

Do you write fiction, nonfiction, business memos, emails, a blog, or anything else that others will read? Are you confused by similar words (such as discrete vs. discreet; to, too, and two; lay and lie; there, their, and they’re; or shined, shone, and shown)? Do you misspell common words (alright vs. all right, or ect. vs. etc.) and phrases (such as tow the line vs. toe the line; run the gambit vs. run the gamut)? If so, then this book is for you. It explains in simple language the differences between hundreds of words and phrases that are often misused and misspelled, as well as rules for proper punctuation and capitalization, and other elements of English that often trip up the unwary writer. And it does so with frequent humor to keep it from becoming too dry. For example: Baited vs. Bated Wrong: I waited with baited breath. Right: I waited with bated breath. Do your friends call you “fish-breath”? If not, then you wait with bated breath, which means “reduced, lessened, lowered in force.” The expression bated breath (using a short form of abated) refers to how someone almost stops breathing through awe, terror, anxiety, or extreme anticipation. Perhaps you waited with bated breath as he baited the hook. and: Dessert vs. Desert Wrong: She wandered for days, lost in the dessert. Right: She wandered for days, lost in the desert. Unless she was eating the world’s largest hot fudge sundae, she was lost in a desert (an extremely dry place that supports only sparse vegetation), not a dessert (the final course of a meal).


Peak vs. Pique vs. Peek

Wrong: You peaked my interest.

Right: You piqued my interest.

Peak, when used as a verb, means to reach the highest point of something. (“The Dow Jones peaked at 11,000 points.”) Pique, in this context, means to excite interest, or arouse an emotion. And, of course, peek means to glance quickly or furtively, or peep. You might peek at the mountain peak, which in turn piques your curiosity.


Site vs. Sight vs. Cite

Wrong: Check out my web sight.

Right: Check out my web site.

A site (noun) is a location. (“This is the site of our upcoming restaurant.”) A sight (noun) is a vision or a glimpse of something. (“She was quite a sight in that dress.”) Cite isn’t even a noun, it’s a verb. It means to quote as an authority (“Cite your sources.”), to commend for outstanding service (“He was cited for bravery.”) or to summon to court (“She was cited for speeding.”). The noun form of cite is citation. (Isn’t it interesting how a citation for bravery can be a good thing while a citation for speeding is a bad thing?)


Tact vs. Tack vs. Tactic

Wrong: I’m going to take a different tact on this problem.

Right: I’m going to take a different tack on this problem.

Right: I’m going to try a different tactic with this problem.

The phrase “taking a different tack” comes from nautical terminology meaning a course run obliquely against the wind in a zigzag fashion. So, taking a different tack means to try another approach or come at the problem from a different direction. Tact, on the other hand, is a sense of what’s appropriate or a skill with delicate situations. A tactic is a plan or procedure to attain a goal. A person of tact, then, might try a different tack as a tactic for achieving victory.

Check out the Amazon Look Inside feature for hundreds of other examples.


“I love the whimsical presentation; it keeps you interested.”—Jack Hudler (5 stars)

“Five stars.”—wayne josie (5 stars)

“This is not only an outstanding reference book, it is a wonderful addition to any classroom. Mark Chapman is an accomplished author and brings a definite sense of whimsy to an otherwise normally dull subject. The closest thing I can think of would be Grammarly, on steroids, only offline and readily available. He stresses the importance of communicating correctly, through the written word. My favorite quote from the book comes from Samuel Clemens, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter - it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning". This book is a must for writers, students who need to write for class, and students like mine, who are just becoming comfortable with the English language, so they can better their lives in this country. You will really enjoy this book and do as I did, buy several for your friends.”—D Hoffman (5 Stars)

I've always identified myself as somewhat of a grammar nerd. Until now, I found only grammar books with little bits and pieces of useful information, but the books, on the whole, were extremely dry, and painful to trudge through. So I never bothered. However reading Frequently Misused/Misspelled Words and Phrases (and how to use them correctly) isn't like a boring class on grammar, but more of a casual and fun chat. It covers many of the most frequently misspelled and misused words in the English language, examples of the wrong and right use, and sometimes origins of the words. There is an interactive table of contents, so you can go directly to particular words. I found quite a few that I've been using wrong. Who knew? Also, there was one word that I've been pronouncing wrong all of these years. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially writers.—digsblues (5 Stars)

FREQUENTLY MISUSED AND MISSPELLED WORDS AND PHRASES (and how to use them correctly) is available on Amazon in 13 countries:

To find out more about my books, go to my website at or my Amazon profile at Twitter: or

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