Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Abby

I hate hate hate when my students fold the upper-left-hand corner of their essays. Instead of walking the one minute to the nearest stapler, they engage in some intricate origami, probably use their saliva, and the papers end up staying together for as long as one of Pamela Anderson's marriages.

My other pet peeve is when women wear an empire waist that is too small so the seam cuts their boobs in half.

Breasts should be cradled, not bisected.

With such a sensitivity to the pet peeve, I agreed to temporarily abandon my comma campaign to address a pet peeve my dear friend shared with me: when people confuse advice and advise.

It's understandable why people confuse these words: they look almost identical and are very closely related. Check out their definitions:

Advice: an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action

Advise: to offer an opinion or suggestion as worth following

Basically, advice is the actual opinion and advise is the act of sharing the opinion.

For example,

I advise you to ignore any relationship advice Pamela gives you.

But, how do we remember which one is which?

To do this, we must focus on what makes them different, and that would be the c and the s.

So, let's start with the c in advice. To remember that advice is the actual opinion, let the c stand for crap, because most of the advice we get is just that, right? For example,

* You should just tell him the truth; he'll understand.

* Guys don't like girls who put out on the first date.

* You should totally wear that dress; it looks great.

Now, to remember that advise is the act of sharing the opinion, the s in advise stands for sharing. It can also stand for suggesting. It can also stand for shut up, stop talking, ssssh!

1 comment:

WalksLikeAnEgyptian said...

You only have two pet peeves? Impressive.