The hidden gems of Googling
It's funny how a quick internet search can lead you to something you probably would have never come across if it hadn't been for the perfect set of circumstances. For instance, I belong to a writing group over at Writer's Village University, where fellow members critique each other's work. Having other writers read, evaluate, and critique your work is invaluable, and in my opinion, a necessity. However, often when I'm critiquing another author's work, I come across something that I think might be wrong, or at least used in the wrong context, but that I can't quite put my finger on. So, naturally, I pop over to Google to do a bit of Googling. I usually just type in the phrase in question and choose from a myriad of results. That's exactly how I found the nifty little site that I wanted to tell you about today.
The only problem is, I forgot the exact phrase that I typed to find it. I was searching for the difference between aisle and isle at the time, because the work I was critiquing referred to an aisle as an Isle. I knew the difference, but since I'm a little obsessive-compulsive (okay, maybe more than a little), I had to look it up anyway. And I'm glad I did, because it led me to this little gem, Common Errors in English Usage.
The site is basically just what the title suggests, an alphabetical list of common errors in English usage. When you click on an entry, you are presented with the correct expression, as well as the one that it is commonly confused with. The descriptions are clear and brief, which makes them perfect for quick research. Sure there are hundreds of sites that offer complete grammar guides, but that's not the point of this site. This is the perfect place to drop in if you just need a quick answer that's easy to find.
You can even purchase this guide in paperback or kindle format on Amazon if you want to have it with you everywhere. According to the site, the book offers expanded descriptions and some bonus material. I may check it out myself, but in the meantime, this site is the perfect critiquing companion. I'll also be keeping it open when I'm doing some of my own writing.