When it comes to transcripts, it pays to watch for these grammar gremlins. NCRA’s Proofreading Advisory Council made a list of the ghastliest grammar and spelling errors it has seen. Be warned: These are the kinds of errors that might drive your favorite court reporter, captioner, scopist, or proofreader insane!
Judith A. Lehman, RMR, CRI, Shelbyville, Ill.:
Backyard as one word gives me the heebie jeebies. I know various sources list that as a proper spelling, but why? Frontyard? Sideyard? I think not.
Bobbi J. Fisher, RPR, Surfside Beach, S.C.:
When I went to Planet Fitness, the walls were splattered with “Judgement Free Zone” — judgement with the e … on everything!
And a sneaky word is segue, which is pronounced “seg-way,” as in “that was a good segue into that topic.” I think a lot of people might not realize that’s how it’s spelled. Segway is the proper name for the machine you ride around on.
How about the controversy of email vs. e-mail or cell phone vs. cellphone?
And don’t cap social security number. Only cap the Social Security Administration, per Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters and Margie Wakeman Wells’ books on English.
Susan M. Horak, RDR, CRR, Columbus, Ohio:
Worse case instead of worst case. It’s best case, worst case.
Rational and rationale. Rational means sane, and rationale means this is why you made that decision.
Kathleen McHugh, RPR, CRR, Audubon, N.J.:
Affect and effect. Need I say more?
Aimee Suhie, New Fairfield, Conn.:
How about than and then? Believe it or not, a very famous food writer has misused then in two separate columns!
Janine A. Ferren, RPR, CRR, Fishers, Ind.:
You’re vs. your is one of them, and a period outside of the quotes is another. Boo!