Monday, February 20, 2012

Get Lost, "Get"

Oh, poor Nebraska and Michigan. They didn't get the help they needed. Neither did the proofreader of this article. Had he, he would have been notified that the word get is repeated.

We all type the same word back-to-back from time to time, but it's a simple error that any spell-check program will find. When I commit this offense in Microsoft Word, the repeated word is immediately underlined in red, letting me know I've made a boo-boo.

Often, repeated words don't even register to a reader. Still, it's too, too bad they occur.


  1. I always try to find the mistake before reading your posts and this one fooled me. I read it over and over and didn't notice the "get get". Because the words are on different lines, I think my brain ignores the 2nd "get". I thought the problem was the need for a period or semicolon between "help" and "they're". Am I right?

    1. Even when repeated words aren’t on separate lines they are often difficult to spot because, as you pointed out, our brains ignore them. We may see them but not necessarily be cognizant of them, if that makes sense. We read the sentence the way we expect it to be written. I look forward to posting about other “repeat offenders” in the future.

      And no, we don’t need a period or semicolon between “help” and “they’re.” It is OK as is, though it may have read better had the writer inserted “that” in that spot.

      Thanks for reading, John! I’m confident you’ll be able to spot the mistake in tomorrow’s photo before reading my post. ☺