Forasmuch as this trio of heterographs confuses writers and spell checkers don’t take context into consideration, I reckon it’s not that surprising that writers miss this word confusion as often as they do.
For it’s been fourscore and many, many more years of confusing fore for for, and we won’t even go into how many fours have gone astray. For it’s not too much to say that, as writers, we need to go forward with forethought for all those impressionable readers for thinking that, if they see it in print, lo, it must be the truth, forsooth!
…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; Dictionary.com: fore and four; Merriam-Webster: fore|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective 3; Adverb;
Combining Form 4;
Plural for noun: fours
To the uttermost
Affecting, with regard to, or in respect of someone or something
On behalf of or to the benefit of someone or something
Having (the thing mentioned) as a purpose or function
Having (the thing mentioned) as a reason or cause
Having (the place mentioned) as a destination
Representing (the thing mentioned)
In place of or in exchange for something
In relation to the expected norm of something
Indicating the length of a period of time
Indicating the extent of a distance
Indicating an occasion in a series
[Attrib.] Situated or placed in front
First in place, time, order, rank, etc.
[Nautical] Of or relating to a foremast
[Added to nouns] Situated in front of
Equivalent to the product of two and two
A competition for teams of four players, especially in bowls
He felt guilty, for he knew that he bore a share of responsibility for Fanny’s death.
Rebecca could not forbear a smile.
He would never forswear the religion of his people.
It was only his forbearance that kept us from taking action.
She is responsible for the efficient running of their department.
It was a demand for money.
These parents aren’t speaking for everyone.
It was a good firm to work for.
She is searching for enlightenment.
The necessary tools for making a picture frame.
Aileen is proud of her family for their support.
I could dance and sing for joy.
They are leaving for Swampscott tomorrow.
The F is for Fascinating.
I want to swap these two bottles for that one.
Copies are available for only a buck.
She was tall for her age.
It’s warm weather for this time of year.
He was in prison for 12 years.
I haven’t seen him for some time.
In spite of that broken leg, he crawled for 300 yards.
The camcorder failed for the third time.
Davy checked the fore and hind pairs of wings.
Check that fore topmast stay.
We’re moored fore and aft.
A sperm whale cannot see directly fore and aft.
He opened the book with foreboding.
Writers frequently use foreshadowing in their stories.
“Grams! They just pulled in to the forecourt!”
Autopsies on imbeciles show an infantile development of the forebrain.
The forecastle is greatly crowded on this voyage; find out if we can go up to the forecabin.
My forefathers came from Germany, Ireland, and Norway.
“Um, you really should yell fore before you hit the ball,” George said as he dialed 9-1-1.
Anyone know what the weather forecast is for the weekend?
It was a foretelling I looked forward to for a change.
I got promoted to foreman, honey.
It’ll be a cold day in hell ‘fore I let you marry my little girl.
Two plus two equals four.
Francesca’s got four brothers.
It took four of them to lift it.
We’re looking for a four-bedroom house.
No, no, that should read page iv, as it’s still part of the front matter.
George IV reigned from 1820 to 1830.
The girls walked in pairs or fours.
I began to teach myself to read at four.
It’s half past four.
She claims that she wears a size four.
“Hah! I got four of a kind.”
A fours game shall be played between two teams each of four players, each member playing two bowls singly and in turn.
|Adjective: for-profit||Noun: fore-edge, fore-end, fore-topsail, forepart, forethought, foretop, fore-topgallant, fore-topmast
Verb, transitive: forearm
|Adjective: four-color, four-dimensional, four-door, four-engined, four-eyed, four-eyes, four-four, four-handed, four-ply, four-square, four-star, four-stroke, fourfold, fourpenny, fourth class,
Adverb: four-square, fourfold
Cardinal Number: fourscore
Noun: four-bagger, four-ball, four-by-four, four-in-hand, four-leaf clover, four-legged, four-letter, four-o’clock, four-poster, four-seater, four-stroke, four-wheel drive
|History of the Word:|
|1 Old English, probably a reduction of a Germanic preposition meaning before (in place or time) and related to the German für, also to fore.||3 Late 15th century: represents the prefix fore- used independently.||Old English fēower is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch and German vier, from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin quattuor and the Greek tessares.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits:
“Body Painting – Padding-Top” by Exey Panteleev (Flickr: padding-top) is under the CC BY 2.0 license; “Supratrochlear Artery Forehead” is Jmeyerman8’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; “Agbari (Forehead)” is the work of the Dept of Art and Industrial Design Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta Ogun State in Nigeria under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; and, “Gour2” is Shyamala1’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, all via Wikimedia Commons.