Ere long you’ll not be wanting to err…e’er…in this trio of heterographs. Lord knows, I felt like I needed a cheatsheet throughout this post, trying to keep ’em all straight!
…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: e’er|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Contraction of ever, an Adverb||Conjunction; Preposition||Verb, intransitive|
|[Literary, poetic, archaic] Ever
[Usually with negative or in questions] At any time
At all times
[With comparative] Increasingly
Used for emphasis in questions and other remarks, expressing astonishment or outrage
|Conjunction and Preposition:
[Poetic, literary, archaic] Before (in time)
|[Formal] Be mistaken or incorrect
To stray from the right course or accepted standards
To act with bias, especially favorable bias
To go astray in thought, morals, or belief
[Archaic] To deviate from the true course, aim, or purpose
|She had lived alone e’er since her husband died.
I am e’er grateful, my lord.
They lived happily e’er after.
“And she spoke to him e’er courteously and kindly, even as though he had been a holy man and worthy of all reverence.” – Amélie Rives’ A Brother to Dragons and Other Old-time Tales
“A taking hand will never want, let the world be e’er sae scant.” – Alexander Hislop’s The Proverbs of Scotland
“And as to learning, I make no query she can talk you over the Latin grammar as fast as e’er a gentleman here.” – Fanny Burney’s Camilla
I was driven for some half mile ere we stopped.
“Three times,” he says angrily, “thou shalt betray me ere the cock crows.” – Ivan Solotaroff’s 28 June 2014 article, “The Stacks: The Judas Priest Teen Suicide Trial“
“Slope downwards to thy depths, O sea, that ere it be for ever too late, Ahab may slide this last, last time upon his mark!” – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
|The judge had erred in ruling that the evidence was inadmissible.
The erring brother who had wrecked his life was back.
I had erred in asking Emma to be my wife.
Both 2016 presidential candidates have erred in their moral choices.
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” – Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Criticism“
|Adverb: erelong, erewhile [both archaic]||Adjective: errable, errant, erring
Noun: errability, errancy, errata, erratum, erroneous, error
|History of the Word:|
|Old English ǣfre is of unknown origin.||Old English ǣr is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch eer and German eher.||Middle English in the sense of wander, go astray is from the Old French errer, from the Latin errare meaning to stray.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?