Thursday, January 10, 2013

Plain Vs Plane: Fun with Words

I have to start this post with the same disclaimer I’ve used before: I am not a grammarian. I make mistakes in my writing. I am always learning, growing and (hopefully) honing my craft.

That being said, I do take the time to look up a word if I’m not sure how to use it. When reading a popular fiction blog yesterday, I came across this sentence: 

(MC) felt as if she had been transported to the highest level of the physical plain. Eyes closed, she took a deep breath and considered the possibility that she may have crossed over into the spiritual plain. Intuitively, she knew she must understand how vibration is defined differently on the spiritual plain…

I said to myself – Oh no, not again. 

Homonyms are problematic for many writers. I wrote about some of the usual suspects in these posts: 

Regarding plain or plane, here’s a refresher:
Simple, normal, basic 
I’m looking for a plain white t-shirt
Obvious, clear
It was in plain view
Flat, level
He lives near the salt plains of Utah

An airplane
A flat or level surface
A carpenter’s tool
Level of existence, consciousness (see above)

It’s confusing because the words plain and plane sound alike. In fact, they both come from the Latin word planus which means flat or clear.

I always have to pause and think when I'm using affect or effect. What about you, are there certain words that trip you up? ____________________________________________________

This post is in participation with the Group Blogging Experience, and this week’s prompt is Oh no, not again. If you want to blog with us, go to the GBE2 Facebook page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome.



  1. Great post. I can usually tolerate a lot of misuses but one that really bugs me is lose and loose. English is a funny language lose (pronounced looz) and loose (pronounced loos)- amazing how many people mix these up! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  2. for me it's bare and bear. I always get confused!! So I end up with a bare bear!! LOL!

  3. I have too many to name here! Once upon a time, I knew a lot more about correct word usage than I do today. A lot of 'rules' are scrambled in my brain now where once they were clearly labeled and filed, today they are just floating around making me question each and every word I use. Most days I care enough to check, but now and then I go with my gut. FYI, that isn't the best choice.

    ♥ To affect a change the effect must matter to more than one person. Does that help?

  4. Great post :) One that I always have to stop and think about is practise and practice! I remember it now by knowing one is a noun and one is a verb. The word 'ice' is a noun, so practICE is also a noun e.g. a medical or law practice. The other practise is therefore the verb e.g. practising scales on the piano!! Oh goodness I hope that is right now I am posting it!!! lol :)

  5. Oh no! Haha did you correct them? I know it happens but spelling errors drive me crazy. I am constantly correcting my brother and boyfriend. Not to be mean or snooty, but hopefully helping them!

  6. affect and effect always make me pause. Nice write up, keep it up I like readying the tips.


Talk to me.