Opinion

Words: Don’t you love the variation

LET'S talk about words. After all, they are what I do for a living.

We all strive to ensure our words are correct, especially when we put them in writing, but is there a person out there who can claim to be precise all of the time?

Might I politely suggest many of you get your "sliver" mixed up with your "slither".

"Just give me a small slither," I've been known to say when someone is cutting up the birthday cake.

We rarely have to say "sliver" in our day to day routines, but we often have the occasion to say "slither".

So out pops a slither when it should have been a sliver.

(An aside: If I said what I really wanted to say when someone is cutting up the birthday cake ("give me the biggest chunk possible") I would never have to worry about my slithers and slivers again, would I?

Some kind reader picked me up not so long ago when I referred to something as 'slavering' rather that the correct word of 'slathering.'

I can't recall what it was I was slavering or slathering at the time and I don't wish to. It all sounds rather unsavoury now that I look back.

Two words so many people get wrong, and I am talking about people who should know better (writers, PR professionals, journalists, educators), is "compliment" and "complement".

I can't count the number of press releases I receive every week with the complement being referred to as a compliment.

Now, no one likes a compliment more than I do - keep them coming - but when something enhances something else, it is always a "complement" with an "e".  It's an easy one to remember.

A compliment is something some nice person gives you, everything else is the other.

That's all you have to keep in mind. Another word that trips up so many is "stationary" as opposed to "stationery". Here's the trick.

When I first started work as a secretary decades ago, someone told me the simple trick of getting this one right every time.

Remember the word envelopes when you think of stationery and you'll always spell it correctly with an "e" rather than an "a" to explain something sitting stationary.

So in case you've had enough of my words of wisdom, I'll sliver off now and slaver myself (or I could sit still and be stationery and wait for the complements.)  

Topics:  ann rickard, opinion


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Cooroy's Elm St a traffic nightmare

HORROR: This is possibly Noosa's worst intersection for choking traffic - the intersection of Elm and Myall streets.

Mayor says Elm and Myall street junction worst intersection in Noosa

Noosa came alive with music and magic on the weekend

Trumpeters from the band Bullhorn.

Two events on Saturday attracted thousands of people

Kin Kin is on the road to a driven prosperity

ROAD AHEAD: The Kin Kin General Store cashes in.

Kin Kin on the road to better times

Latest deals and offers

"All That Jazz” rocks Marina Markets

Sunday morning Juliarna Clark danced the Charleston, Noosa Chorale sang All That Jazz and the ferries rocked the scene

Cooroy's Elm St a traffic nightmare

HORROR: This is possibly Noosa's worst intersection for choking traffic - the intersection of Elm and Myall streets.

Mayor says Elm and Myall street junction worst intersection in Noosa

Kin Kin is on the road to a driven prosperity

ROAD AHEAD: The Kin Kin General Store cashes in.

Kin Kin on the road to better times

Noosa to welcome charity cyclists on Thursday

READY SET GO: The cyclists kicked off their 700km charity ride from Coffs Harbour to Noosa on the weekend.

25 charity cyclists will finish a 700km in Noosa on Thursday

Dancing for dog rescue goes bush

SECOND CHANCE: Nicole Mecklem with Lunar,   Greg Molyneux,  Glen Elmes and Bron Innes with Poppy.

Eumundi Rotary helps four-legged folk in need

Noosa came alive with music and magic on the weekend

Trumpeters from the band Bullhorn.

Two events on Saturday attracted thousands of people

History comes alive at Back Plains celebration

Ian Mason wrote a book on the history of Back Plains and is launching it at a massive reunion event.

Reliving fascinating and rich history of Back Plains area

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Gympie Muster couch dumps down, but still a problem

TIPPING POINT: After an appalling year of couches being dumped at the end of the last Muster, festival organisers have taken litterbugs to task

EFFORTS to combat post-Muster couch dumping are proving effective

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 in unclaimed refunds

Muster-goers collectively left about $21,000 worth of unused spending funds when they failed to claim back money on their bands after exiting the Muster.

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 windfall for organisers

How high? Twin 20-storey high-rises plan for "over 50s"

A development application has been lodged with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to build two skyscrapers in Hervey Bay.

Developer says Bay needs to move with the times.

City View Hotel: From a pub to a backpackers

NEW LIFE: Hamish Parker has purchsed the City View Hotel and wants to turn it into an accomodation venue.

Architect picks up a little piece of history for a steal

Take a virtual tour of this multi-million dollar Coast home

This house has to be seen to be believed.

Can you imagine yourself living in this place?

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Why south Sunshine Coast will wait for fast internet

A Telstra phone tower goes up.

Sunshine Coast Council blocks applications for mobile towers

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates