I couldn’t remember. Usually, I’ll gloss over those sort of mistakes and leave them for my editor to weed out. But with this story, I am publishing it chapter by chapter on Wattpad without the help of a pro edit.
I decided I better check it out. Readers deserve the best
quality read we can offer.
The answer is…makeup.
But only when it’s being used as synonymous noun. I need to put on my makeup. When it’s a verb, it’s make up. I need to make up a test. And to make it
even more complicated, as an adjective, it’s make-up. If you
were sick you will need to take a make-up test.
A similar rule applies with work out. As a noun, it’s workout. That was a great workout. As a verb, it’s separate. I work out before lunch.
Pick up. It’s
separated as a verb: Pick up the truck
from the garage. As an adjective, it’s combined: I drive a pickup truck. Or…The
bar is a great pickup spot..
Get away. Adjective:
I need a getaway car. Noun: I
could use a beach getaway. As a verb, it’s two words. Get away from the cookies.
Every day. Everyday
is the adjective form. These are my
everyday clothes. As opposed to: These
are the clothes I wear every day. A good rule of thumb…if you can replace
every with each, separate the words.
A lot. Alot is
not a word, unless you are intending to divvy up portions, then you’re still
spelling it wrong. Allot each player
Gatorade. Vs. A lot of players drink
All right vs. alright.
Although alright is gaining ground, the rules for when it’s acceptable can
be complicated, whereas all right is always all right. Being the sort of gal
who likes to do the easy thing, I’m a fan of all right.
Lastly, here are a few problem words to keep in mind:
Remember, it’s a treat so special, it deserves two words.
High school. Like
the cliques of that era, it’s never combined.
you’re describing active angina, it’s one word.
That's my list of trouble words. How about you? What words give you pause while writing?
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