The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

Grammar help 5¢. The Belle is in.

Hey, y’all! I’m feeling a bit Seussical this Wednesday afternoon:

I have some nice advice for you,
Some nice advice, indeed.
Because you’re wise I would advise
My advice you heed.

Yep, folks. That’s the kind of poetry that comes to me in the shower. Deep stuff, dontcha think?

I’m sure it’s pretty obvious what today’s “When Spellcheck Won’t Help” topic is. The peculiar thing about this one is that I have never in my life heard anyone mispronounce the two words. But I see them miswritten regularly. Given that fact, here’s what I propose: Think or say to yourself “nice advice.” Those words rhyme. AND they’re both spelled with a c. “Wise” and “advise” rhyme and are both spelled with an s.* Problem solved.

When I was in teacher training (and also when I had toddlers and read lots of parenting books), I learned about modeling correct behavior for youngsters. That is, instead of correcting my daughter when she would say “I goed to the park today,” I would simply model back the correct grammar for her with “What fun! You went to the park today.” See, it’s a kinder, gentler way of getting your point across. And eventually (rather quickly, actually), the modeling sinks in and the kids begin to make the right choices on their own.

As an adult, so you don’t come across as such a b****, it’s always wise to model correct usage and spelling for your friends. (You can always send them a link to my blog too.) However, with adults, the lessons don’t seem to be as easily learned:

Names redacted to protect the nonobservant innocent. Bless her heart.

Names redacted to protect the nonobservant innocent. Bless her heart.

This may have been the easiest spelling issue to clear up ever. I’m not, however, giving y’all your nickels back.

*For those of you who are like I am and like all the details, here’s a bit more info. The /s/ sound in “advice” is considered a voiceless consonant. The /z/ sound in “advise” is a voiced consonant. Place one hand (gently) on your throat. Say the /s/. Don’t feel anything? Now say the /z/. You feel the vibration? There you have it. Other such pairs are [t d] and [f v]. Bonus phonetics lesson! (That’ll be another 5¢, please.)

4 comments on “Grammar help 5¢. The Belle is in.

  1. juliepetroski
    January 23, 2013

    Thank you, Grammar Belle. Another one of my demons slain.

    • The Grammar Belle
      January 23, 2013

      Ha! Now I’ll need a header image of a princess with a sword slaying a dragon. 🙂

  2. Benjamin Edwards
    January 23, 2013

    Here you go. No thanks needed 😉

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2013 by in Spelling, When Spellcheck Won't Help and tagged , , , , .

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