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From the Copy Desk: Three Common Grammar Mistakes That Make Us Cringe

At Bond Studios, we edit and proofread a TON of copy for clients around the world. So, what are the mistakes we see most often? Regardless of industry, the top two are word misuse and misspellings. The Content & Editorial team at Bond runs a Slack channel to keep track of what gives many people trouble most of the time. Below we've recounted three examples from our watch list. Read on and take note to avoid these common grammar mistakes.

1 - Segue vs segway

A segue is a transition from one thing to another without disruption. Segues are used in magazine articles and speeches to move the reader from one idea to the next. And filmmakers use them to transport their audience from scene to scene.

We often see segue misspelled as segway, the brand name for those impossibly dorky and oversized electric scooters that your dad made you try when you went on a family vacation in 2005.

a mug shot of Chicago mob boss Al Capone
Al Capone

2 - Famous vs. infamous

From press releases to social copy to speeches, we've seen this copy error get a major spotlight time and again. If you're famous, you've got stature and celebrity. You might be widely known for your career accomplishments or good deeds. On the other hand, if you're infamous, you're renowned for something negative, like a criminal record or scandalous behavior. Al Capone is infamous for his leading role in the Chicago mafia. Helen Keller is famously known for her pioneering work as a disability advocate. Mixing this one up can be embarrassing at a cocktail party; in business, this type of gaffe could be serious enough to hurt your brand rep.

3- Pique vs. peak vs. peek

As grammarians, it piques our interest that so many people mistakenly use the term "peak" when they mean to say that something provokes a feeling or action. Use "peak" to describe the summit or pinnacle of a mountain. And use "peek" to express how someone's eyes glimpse briefly.


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