Thursday, December 22, 2016

Time to Pay Up...

            Okay, we’ve all got better things to do right now, so this is going to be a quickie...
            This is another one of those spelling-vocabulary things that shows up way too often.  I saw it misused the other day in someone’s internet press release—the third or fourth time I’ve seen it in recent memory—and it made me grind my teeth.
            Not good, since I got these crowns.
            Anyway...
            Easy question for you. Do you want to pay your dues and become a writer?  Or would you rather pay your dos?
            Are you worried things might be past do?  Or that you haven’t gotten what you’re do?  Either way, have you considered heading do south?
            We’re not even going to talk about the people who bring dew into it.
            Really, the more important question is—are you grinding your own teeth after some of these?
            Do vs. due is one of those... okay, seriously, I don’t know what to say about this.  If I’m going to call myself a writer—any kind of writer—and I’m messing this up, well, it’s not a good sign. 
            It’s ridiculous that I have to bring this up, right?  And yet...
            Journalist, fiction writer, editorials, non-fiction... there really isn’t a type of writing where this kind of mistake is okay.  Because this is a bare-bones basic mistake.  From a writing point of view, this is a flat Earth/Moon-is-made-of-green-cheese-level mistake.  Like so many word choice/use issues, this is a do diligence thing, where I deserve to get smacked down if I can’t due it right.
            One simple, but not perfect, tip—if I’m talking about someone getting something, I probably need due.
            Another simple-but-not-perfect tip—if I’m talking about some form of action, I probably need do.
            Direction is usually going to be due.
            Parties or hairstyles, I would most likely need do.
            The one perfect tip—I should actually learn what words mean before I use them.
            Y’see, Timmy, if I’m messing up something as simple as due and do, it means I’m failing on a bunch of levels.  I’m using phrases I’ve heard but I don’t really understand.  I’m not bothering to look up words I don’t know in a certain context.  I’m just going with what sounds right and not bothering to check if it is right.
            And if that’s how I’m doing things... well, I can’t be surprised if nobody wants to pay me for my writing.
            If you’re reading this, I hope you have a Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or just a peaceful weekend. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll see you all one more time before the end of the year.
            And if you have some free time in there... go write.

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