... and other fanfic writers. And other pornographers. You know who you are, and you're probably not reading this. (Nobody take this personally. Every one of these I found in more than one place by more than one writer.)
I have conducted an... ahem... careful study of a broad swath of fanfic over the last several weeks, and here are some pairs of words I would like you to be sure you know the difference between.discreet, discrete:
You almost always mean "discreet". Secret? Discreet.palate, palette:
The first is the one in someone's mouth. Google doesn't actually back me up on this one, but I know it to be so. Is this a British/American English distinction I was previously unaware of? Please advise.prone, supine:
Just look it up. No more bizarre sexual positions because you flipped one of the characters over, thank you.compliment, complement:
I think this is perhaps the trickiest one on my list. Flattery? A compliment. But a shirt that flatters you may complement your eyes, meaning perfecting your look. Careful!principle, principal:
Morals are principles. The main something is the principal something.illicit, elicit:
Is it sekrit and naughty? Use the first one. Is it a verb? Use the second one.
Oh, just look it up:
- taut, taunt
- breath, breathe
- loath, loathe
- baring, barring
- bound, bond
The phrase is just deserts
, unless you're actively punning at the time. It does sound
like "desserts", but that's because it's not the sandy "deserts", it's "deserts" derived from "deserve".dominate, dominant:
I don't even understand where this comes from, but it's really common. Dominate is a verb. Dominant is an adjective or noun. There is no such thing as "the dominate" in a scene or relationship. No really.
And please, for the love of all that is holy or unholy, learn the difference betweenprostate, prostrate:
The fun thing for men having anal sex? Only one "r".
Thank yew.EDIT: tongue tongue tongue
Accept no substitutes. (courtesy of kjc007
Breath is bated. Traps are baited.rein/reign:
Oh, where to begin. Horses are controlled with reins. Kings reign. The idiom is rein in your emotions.
No really. (these two pairs courtesy of calanthe_fics