Revised as of 4 2017
My primary reason for exploring this word confusion is presence and the plural presents as it is this combination that is frequently confused. Again, it’s one of those sound-alikes. And as writers, we’re supposed to be aware of the details, and those details include words, an important tool in any writer’s toolbox.
It’s possible to have presence and to have presents, but one is less tangible than the other. To have presence is to have an aura of a person or an area. For people to be aware of that person’s, country’s, a metaphysical force’s existence. An intangible.
To have presents means an occasion. It could be a birthday, an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, Christmas…events which occasion gifts from the others in a person’s life.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
Plural for the noun: presence
|Plural for the noun and third person present for the verb: present
Noun 1, 2;
Verb 2, intransitive & transitive
|State or fact of existing, occurring, being present in a place or thing
A person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen or visible
[Law; plural noun] The document or instrument in question 1
To make a presentation
[Medical] To be positioned in a particular way
To bring before the public
The giving of something to another as a reward or gift
To offer for observation, examination, or consideration
To afford or furnish
To turn or position in the direction of another: presented his face to the camera
To attach (an antigen, for example) on the surface of a molecule for detection by other molecules
To hold, carry, or point a weapon in a particular manner as a salutation or sign of honor, usually along the center axis of the body
[Ecclesiastical] To recommend a cleric for a benefice
[Law] To offer to a legislature or court for consideration
[Law] To bring a charge or indictment against
|Very successful actors have a presence that causes people to be aware of them.
Luke sensed a presence in the Force.
He had the presence of mind to remain calm.
The United States maintains a military presence in volatile areas.
Be it known by these presents.
Yeah! Christmas presents!!
The default position is if the foetus presents with its head first at the mouth of the uterus.
He presents his face to the camera.
The Broadway Theatre presents a new play this fall.
The president presents the lieutenant with the Purple Heart.
The Academy Awards presents Oscars as a prize in a televised ceremony.
|Noun: nonpresence||Adjective: self-presented, unpresented
|History of the Word:|
|Middle English||1 Middle English from Old French, from Latin praesns, praesent-, the present participle of praeesse meaning to be present: prae- from the combination of pre- + esse meaning to be.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits
The Presence Chamber at Kensington Palace from Pyne’s Royal Residences (1819), which was uploaded by Merchbow-commonswiki and Pile of Gorgeous Gifts; both are in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.