Editor’s note: Thanks to Kaye Parker for this book review published in the Halifax Herald Chronicle. Book details at www.wordtrippers.com
Word Trippers, Your Ultimate Source for Choosing the Perfect Word When It Really Matters, Second Edition, by Barbara McNichol, 2014, 93 pages
I had the pleasure of listening to Barbara McNichol at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers convention last weekend, and when I got a chance to look at Word Trippers, a handy-dandy, excellent writing reference, I just had to spread the word.
If you must write on a regular basis, particularly for your work, you know what it can do to your career and your credibility if you get spellings and meanings mixed up.
Not only will such mistakes put a black mark against your professionalism, it can also compromise your ability to shape your message clearly and precisely.
The most damning thing of all about these writing errors is that they stay in the archives, part of our writing history, forever.
Do you know the difference between ability and capability? I didn’t. Ability refers to skill, while capability means aptitude. These were the very first pair of words my eyes fell on, and I learned something. I was hooked.
Like many of you, I love words. I’ve been known to read the dictionary in my spare time. But there are many words I’ve used incorrectly.
Sometimes it hasn’t mattered. Other times it has.
Most of us, if we are unsure of our words, will seek some type of guide or reference. However, often we commit these bloopers unknowingly because we haven’t even considered the possibility we are using the words incorrectly.
Consider imply and infer. I didn’t know the difference. I’m sure I’ve used them incorrectly at some time. The one who initiates a communication is implying, while the person who is listening or watching that communication may infer something from it.
One final pair: winery and vineyard. A winery is where wine is made. A vineyard is where wine grapes are grown.
Word Trippers helps us find the exact word for what we want to say. It gives us an easy-to-search tripper-tracking source for selecting the perfect word when it matters most.
The good news? It’s inexpensive and in an easy-to-use paperback format.
The format of this book is simple. Pairs of often-confused words are listed in bold, in alphabetical order, followed by the meaning of each word. The words are then used in a sentence that clearly illustrates their different meanings.
McNichol is a respected editor of non-fiction books and articles. She knows words and enjoys working with, and collaborating with, successful and inspiring people, to help them make their message powerful.
While she lives in Arizona, she hails from Saskatchewan, so she is comfortable with word usage on either side of the border.
McNichol also has a Word Tripper of the Week to stay current with using the right word in the right way. Sign up at www.wordtrippers.com
I welcome your comments on this review here.