Category Archives: This Author’s Pen

This Author’s Pen: Envy & Jealousy

imagesWhile working on edits for Finding Eve, which will be published by Champagne Book Group next September, my editor extraordinaire pointed out an inexcusable error I had made. Not one that I need to don sackcloth and sprinkle myself with ashes over, but an error nevertheless. But a confession I must make: I confused envy and jealousy. Probably won’t even do penance over the error, but I’m grateful to Nikki for the save.

And oh-so-particular Grammar Girl ( agrees with her. She points out that while many see the meanings of the words as overlapping and the distinction between them is blurred, they are quite different. According to Grammar Girl, “some sources say ‘jealous’ is supposed to be limited to resentful emotional rivalries (often romantic) with another person, whereas ‘envious’ can expand to cover desiring or coveting objects or accomplishments gained by another person.

Aristotle recognized the difference when he said: jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belong to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them  through envy.

Check out the pic, a classic found in many textbooks. Tomorrow, Pics of the Weekend.  Rita Bay


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This Author’s Pen: A Four-for Nightmare

A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. Most homophones sets are composed of two or at most three words that are pronounced the same, but have different meanings. What brought this one on was MY OWN error when carelessly writing. Thanks to my editor extraordinaire, it didn’t make it to print, but was a source of embarrassment. The homophones of the week are peak, peek, pique, and pique.

Peak.  n. summit, highest point

v. to reach the extent of one’s abilities

Peek n. a quick or surreptitious glance.

v. to look at quickly or sneakily.

Pique n. annoyance or resentment.

Pique v. to arouse or excite esp. in response to challenge

Tomorrow, Pics of the Weekend  Rita Bay

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A Three-For Homophone: rain, reign, & rein

While I was reading a novel recently, I was reminded of the importance of watching out for those worrisome homophones. I was surprised to see the horse’s reigns were in the hero’s hands.
Rain is a noun or verb and refers to the water that drops from the sky. Reign as a noun refers to power, often as in a king’s rule. As a verb, it means to rule or have power over something or someone. Rein as a noun refers to a leather strap used to control the horse. As a verb, to rein means to check or guide a horse using the reins.
Tomorrow, More on the Presidents. Rita Bay


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This Author’s Pen: Affect & Effect

“Affect” and “effect” are often confused. .” Effect” is a noun meaning “a result.” ”Affect” (for our purposes today) is a verb meaning “to influence or act on the emotions of.”

The EFFECT of a tax hike is that people have less money to spend.

Having less money to spend might AFFECT a people’s ability to buy goods and services.

Tomorrow, Pic of the Weekend Rita Bay

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An Author’s Pen: The Use of Than

tall&shortbrLast week we looked at the use of “then” vs “than.” Today, we’re focusing on the use of “than.” Specifically, we’ll look at the correct pronoun to use after “than.” First off, I will not even consider the assertion by some that “than” can be used as a preposition. “Than” is a conjunction (specifically a subordinating conjunction, but we won’t go there.) that is used for comparison. He, she, it, they, we, and I are all subject pronouns used with “than.”

For example, check out these comparisons:

Jane is taller than I.
Jane is taller than he.

To illustrate the correct pronoun usage, complete the comparison.

Jane is taller than I am tall.
Jane is taller than he is tall.

Nobody would consider saying:

Jane is taller than me is tall. OR
Jane is taller than him is tall.

In conclusion, when making a comparison using the conjunction “than,” only subject pronouns (he, she, it, they, we, and I) can follow. When in doubt, fill it out by completing the comparison with the verb and object.

Next week, Affect and Effect. Rita Bay

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