I suspect this is a combination of writers relying too heavily on spellcheck (which simply ensures that the word is spelt correctly and does not examine the context), not paying attention, and/or not knowing the difference. Well, or not having had enough coffee yet.
To steal is a wicked thing, for it’s a theft of some sort whereas to steel is to make oneself harder, or noun-wise, use something hard. Hmmm, that does bring to mind those romance novels with those, ahem, shafts of steel. Hope that steel is warmer than the one the gynecologist uses!
…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: steal and steel|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive||Adjective 1; Noun 1, 2; Verb, transitive 1, 3|
[Informal] A bargain
[Informal] The thing stolen
Move somewhere quietly, unobserved, or surreptitiously
To pass, happen, etc., imperceptibly, gently, or gradually
[Baseball; of a base runner] To advance a base without the help of a walk or batted ball
[Medical] The diversion of blood flow from its normal course
Direct a look quickly and unobtrusively
To take, get, or win insidiously, surreptitiously, subtly, or by chance
To move, bring, convey, or put secretly or quietly
To gain or seize more than one’s share of attention in, as by giving a superior performance
Pertaining to or made of steel
Like steel in color, hardness, or strength
A thing or things made of this metal
A flat strip of this metal used for stiffening, especially in corsets
A bar of this metal that has one end formed to hold a bit for driving through rock
[Steels] Stocks or bonds of companies producing this metal
For $5 it was a steal.
New York’s biggest art steal.
Melania Trump’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention was a steal.
John Lackey did his first career base steal when he was 38 years old.
Point guard Kaleb Joseph finished with eight points, four steals, and seven assists.
We’re dealing with a subclavian steal.
He stole down to the kitchen for more cookies.
A delicious languor was stealing over her.
The years steal by even when you’re looking.
Accusations that one group had stolen ideas from the other were soon flying.
He was allowed to steal a kiss in the darkness.
And Mackey steals the ball, passes to Jones, only to have it stolen back by McCaffey.
Rickey steals third base…and took it home with him.
A glance back to steal a furtive glance at her was all he allowed himself.
Those jerks will steal someone blind some day.
He steals the show every night.
That jerk is gonna steal my thunder, I just know it.
We can steal the bicycle into the bedroom to surprise Henry.
Look, it’s the Man of Steel!
Wow, this must be as hard as steel.
Our two-year-old has a steel will.
The carbon steel in my Chinese cleaver means immediate washing and then drying.
John, set out the stainless steel.
Some of these steels are rusting, milady.
Micon Products is the supplier of many types of high quality drill steel for pluggers, jack legs, bencher drills and hand held rock drills.
The stock in steels is plummeting.
You dare draw steel on me?
Those steel girders are going up fast.
Janey has a steel made for her out of an old Jeep spring, and it keeps those edges sharp.
Peter had to steel himself to open that door.
|Adjective: nonstealable, stealable
Noun: sheep-stealer, stealer
Verb, transitive: outsteal, outstealing, outstole, outstolen
|Adjective: presteel, steel-like, steel-plated, steelier, steeliest, steely
Noun: presteel, steeliness, steelwork, steelworker, steelworks, steelyard
|History of the Word:|
|Old English verb, stelan, is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch stelen and the German stehlen.||1 Old English stȳle, stēli is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch staal and the German Stahl.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!