Whether you are a master of the written word or someone who struggles to transfer their thoughts into print, it is all too easy to overlook simple errors when typing. This is why the spell-checker has become such a widely use tool, as it enables writers to easily evaluate or edit their work.
Have you ever thought to take a look at the mistakes that your spell-checker picks up ? Chances are, you’re repeating the same mistakes over and over again, and relying on technology to ensure that you produce well-written and cohesive work.
With this in mind, it is worth taking a look at the most common interface typos and exploring the issues that cause us to confuse separate words. Consider the following:
1. Login and Log In
This is one of the most common typos, and it is not helped by the fact that numerous websites often confuse these two entirely different entities. While a reputable site, such as Facebook, use both ‘Log In’ and ‘Login’ in their correct form, for example, others confuse the two and often use them inappropriately. Essentially, the term ‘Log In’ is the verb form and should therefore be used to invite online users to access their unique accounts, while ‘Login’ is and noun and refers to your individual access details.
2. Setup and Set Up
On a similar note, the terms ‘Setup’ and ‘Set Up’ also serve as common noun and verb confusions. In this instance, ‘Setup’ refers to a specific scenario, while ‘Set-Up’ is a call to action that directs individuals to establish an account, connection or unique set of circumstances. Online websites and resources are also known to confuse these similar words, but it is important that clear direction is given to their users and new visitors. You should also understand the subtle difference between ‘Sign Up’ and ‘Set Up’ in relation to an online account, as the latter will usually be part of a longer application process.
3. Right-Click and Right Click
The use of hyphenated words can often alleviate confusion, but only if you understand their initial purpose and origin. Hyphens are used to link words or individual syllables of words, most commonly in compound phrases that have a combined or dual meaning. In this instance, ‘Right-Click’ instructs online users to press the secondary button on their mouse while highlighting a file icon, and the simple application of a hyphen removes any ambiguity from the direction. In an age where time is precious, the value of adhering to such small details cannot be ignored.
4. Free and for Free
This is an interesting one, as you will often see businesses and websites advertising something ‘for free’ as part of a promotional campaign. This is technically categorized as colloquial rather than correct use of the English language, however, and those with an attention to detail would always say ‘get one free’ rather than ‘get one for free.’ On a fundamental level, you can either purchase something for a predetermined price or get something free, but never an amalgamation of the two.
5. Everyday and Every Day
As anyone who writes creatively can testify, this particular typo is a source of great confusion. The former is basically an adjective phrase, which refers to an action or product that is commonplace and entirely normal. In contrast, the term ‘Every Day’ should be used when referencing something that occurs with relentless monotony over every 24-hour period. This is perhaps one of the most common interface typos that you can make, especially if you write sparingly or are not familiar with the vagaries of the English language.
6. Instore and In Store
Following a similar theme, this typo adheres to the same rules as ‘Everyday’ and ‘Every Day’. Most commonly used by businesses and retailers who operate both offline and online, the term ‘Instore’ should be used to refer to promotional offers that are only available to physical shops and outlets. In contrast, these firms may also suggest that they ‘have great discounts and promotions in store’ for customers who choose to take up a specific offer. This is often misunderstood, however, especially by businesses who operated without a dedicated marketing team.
7. Discount on and Discount Off
We are now entering the realm of confusing interface typos that are actually quite rare, simply because the terms and phrases in question are less widely used. Although ‘Discount On’ can be used legitimately to describe how a specific promotional offer has been applied, ‘Discount Off’ is technically inaccurate and may even be described by some as a double-negative. This is because the word ‘discount’ relates to a deduction from a predetermined cost or price point, which in turn renders the use of the word ‘off’ completely redundant in every conceivable instance.
8. Email and eBook
If you are a regular user of the Internet, you will often see words such as ‘Email’ and ‘eBook’ capitalized regardless of their precise application. While this type of fixed capitalization is fine for branded items or nouns, however, it cannot be applied to less well-defined words or on a completely random basis. As email and ebook are not officially nouns, they should only ever have their first letter capitalized in instances when they are used to start a sentence.
9. iPhone and IPhone
As we live in the defining age of technological advancement, it seems only right to include a typo that has only originated during the last six years. This common misprint refers to Apple’s ground-breaking iPhone device, which continues to dominate the smartphone market in 2014 and if often spelled with a capital ‘I’. This is an especially common mistake when the word is used at the beginning of a sentence, but the fact remains that it should be written and presented in a uniform manner regardless of its exact application. This is because the iPhone is a branded product, and its spelling is therefore dictated by the innovator behind it.
10. There and Their
Another pair of words that sound identical when spoken, these two entities have entirely different meanings and applications. Despite this, however, they are often confused and commonly used in each other’s place due to error. In fact, the difference between them is relatively simple, as while ‘There’ is used to identify a specific place or location ‘Their’ describes something that belongs to an individual or group. This misunderstanding has plagued even established writers, while it is also easy to overlook such a mistake as not all spell-checking tools differentiate between the two.