Rants and Whimsy

The words you’re getting wrong and they’re driving me crazy

April 15, 2015

Bloggers, writers, random scribblers, we need to talk. Basically, if you’re not writing for a platform that gives you access to some kind of professional proof reading and editing you’re bound to make a few mistakes. Typos happen. I make them all the time. They’re bound to happen in abundance the moment someone dares to try to write any kind of blog post on grammar or spelling (Muphry’s Law). However, while I try at least 7% of the time to be kind and understanding, we all have our pet peeves.

You know how sometimes you see a typo and you know it’s obviously a typo, but sometimes you see one and you can’t help but wonder if it’s actually the case that the person writing doesn’t quite know what word they’re trying to use? Then it plays on your mind, disrupting your sleep until the next day, when you see the same mistake again and you fall down to your knees screaming “Why, Zeus, why?” You know that feeling, right? I have that. So, in the small but optimistic hope that I can impart some useful information into the blogging world, let me bring to you my own little list of words that people keep mixing up. For the sake of my own sanity, please stop it.

Macaron / Macaroon
I can’t believe I actually have to write this. At this point the difference between macarons and macaroons is practically a blogging genre in itself. There’s been enough written on this to fill many volumes of dusty old books. Yet still I see people blogging about their delicious afternoon tea and the beautiful macaroons they ate. No. No you didn’t. You ate a macaron, as evidenced by your photos and if you can’t give it the respect it deserves I’m going to take it off you. How to tell the difference:

Macaron: Is there a fiery glow from the kitchen? When a phoenix rises from the ashes, the ashes are actually macarons. The colour depends on the kind of phoenix you’re breeding and if you’ve allowed any kind of mixed breeding with various kinds  of parakeet or budgie. It’s meringue-y, almond-y and dome-y. It’s smooth on top. It’s often brightly coloured. It’s been all the frigging rage for a few years now.

Macaroon: Where as Macarons are made by phoenixes, Macaroons are made by griffins. In New Zealand the griffins have pulled together a commercial enterprise and are covering their Macaroons in chocolate. If the thing you’re eating is OMG with the coconut and a little bit lumpy and bumpy, it’s a Macaroon. Not so pretty, or so trendy, but damned satisfying nonetheless.

Vagina / Vulva
Look, we’re all writing about them in our blogs, even if we think we aren’t. Trust me. I’ve seen you do it. You could at least give your lady garden the courtesy of getting it right.

Vulva: The whole shebang. The external female genitals. Flaps, folds, fun bits, practical bits, the lot. It’s the name for the whole package, if you will. If a naked woman walks past you, you can see her vulva. Not her vagina, for that you’ll need some special maneuvering.

Vagina: The hole. The tunnel. The gap between the vulva and the uterus. If you were going to use your genitalia as a purse and store things in it, you’d probably choose your vagina as the storage space, as that’s what it is. A space. I don’t recommend you do that, FYI. But if you’re just looking at flaps, that’s not a vagina. However, if your half naked friend opens up those flaps, then you may find yourself in vagina city.

Dessert / Desert
As a committed sweet tooth, nothing upsets me more than seeing my favourite course disrespected so, even if it is just a typo. Even if I’m the one doing it. My soul aches.

Desert: A big fuck off area of barren land where living conditions are rather hostile. You’re probably thinking of the sandy kind, but Antarctica is technically a desert and it’s not sandy at all. Whichever one you’re imagining, it’s not the kind of thing you want to be dealing with after three appetisers, an entrée of soup, a main of chicken and maybe a palate cleanser thrown in for good measure. If you woke up the next day and realised you’d ended last night with a desert you’d probably never drink again. Frankly that’s the last thing anyone wants.

Dessert: A world of creamy delight, where all things good are delivered in abundance to you upon a simple plate. Could be chocolate, could be creamy, could be fruity. It’s sweet and it’s the highlight of the preceding 24 hours unless you’ve spent the last 24 hours on top of Johnny Depp with a whole sheet of bubble wrap to pop and a bottle of champagne at your side to keep your energy levels up. If you haven’t then the banana split takes the title.

I hope you all understand. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to do a hundred searches through my own blog to find and correct every incidence of these foul misunderstandings that I’ve initiated; before I start looking silly and hypocritical. This could take a while.

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  • adales8

    “Dessert” is one of those words where my mind always plays tricks on me and convinces me it looks wrong. x

    • Oh, Amanda, dessert is never wrong xx 😉

  • One of my biggest irritations that so many people do is spell ‘definitely’ wrong. It is not ‘definately’ people!!!!!
    Lots of love,

    • Yes, that annoys the hell out of me too, but that’s more of a bad spelling thing. Not everyone can be great a spelling. It’s taken me a stupidly long time to accept that. The ones above I suspect folks don’t realise that there are two words…

  • I wish you had emojis for the comments.*insert crying with laugher emoji here*

    Spot on!

    • I wish I had emojis for life. My face just ain’t cutting it! x

  • Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard. Desert/dessert is a huge pet peeve, as is macaron/macaroons. Also, lately: the difference between a “blog” and a “blog post”. Even professionals on Twitter are saying, “I’ve written a new BLOG on chocolate!” Really? You have a whole new blog devoted to chocolate? Amazing! Oh wait, no, you’ve written a BLOG POST on chocolate. UGH!!!!

    • *hangs head in shame*
      I’ve probably done this 🙁

  • My pet peeves are more in the realm of spelling and grammar, though seeing “macaroon” in place of “macaron” has made me go full-on soap opera, shaking my fists angrily at the Language Gods for allowing this Hell on earth to persist.

    • Bahaha, I love how you have grammar peeves yet here you are reading TheMayfairy – blog where grammar came to eat cake and die. Haha 😉

  • YES. I hate this. I also hate it when people use cliches and sayings incorrectly too like ‘I look like a beach whale on that photo.’ WTF IS A BEACH WHALE? Like, are they thinking about what they are saying because it DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. A beached whale, on the other hand, makes perfect sense!

    I am shit at grammar and punctuation though.

    • Yes, when people write in the style of ‘lazy speaking’ it can be really difficult to understand what they’re even on about!

  • Sam

    OMG! I am the spelling police! Nothing irritates me more than bad spelling and bad grammar! Gah!!!! Your posts have neither of those…thankfully! 🙂

    • I have more than I’m comfortable with. I’m always finding something wrong with old blog posts 🙁

  • The vagina/vulva bit cracked me up. I’ve only written about lady bits once and since it was a post about smear tests in Germany vagina was definitely the right word.

    • Ahh, the old ‘smear test in Germany’ post. A blogging staple.

  • Freaking loved it, as always!

  • LMAO! You forgot about how some people overuse, overdo, oversays the word ‘literally’…drives me batshit crazy.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Yes! That drives me nuts too… like, what are you actually saying there, think about it! 😉

  • The miss-spells I get most upset are defiantly/definitely, generally/genuinely, and the macaron/macaroon one is so irritating! Normally if you’re buying posh ones in France, they will the correct spelling on the bloody label!! SO infuriating.

    • Have never seen generally/genuinely and hope I never do!

  • See also: Quite / quiet.

    • oooh, I can never type from/form. Whichever one I want, I always type the other.

  • The macaron/macaroon one actually drives me crazy. It’s not that hard!

  • So, so many I’d love to call out – but I feel I’d need to go through my own writing with a fine-toothed comb first!

    PS. I hear you on the vag/vul debate, but I think that’s a loosing battle as the word is widely used to mean the whole shebang. There isn’t actually a word in the English language that cover every piece of the lady-parts system (I’m being highly technical here).

  • I had a teacher (5th or 6th grade) who said, “Dessert has more calories and more S-es.” Never forgot it! lol

  • I am now silently dreading you ever reading my blog again. You see I can spot errors in others, often read published books and pick up errors but my own there are always a few that slip through. Writing so late at night I often make errors but I have learnt three not to make Lucy x

    • Oh no, I make ALL the typos under the sun. I’m just a big hypocrite. 😉