Mini Lesson: Down

I haven’t done a lesson in a while, so let’s look at the word down.

Mini Lesson: Down

By Janice Seagraves


The word down is a direction, if used correctly it can indicate where things are headed. But I tend to find it creeping into my sentences and I bet I’m not the only one.

Example: Roger sat down on the chair.

Here we see down used to indicate that Roger is sitting, but in this sentence down is a given so we don’t really need it.

Correct: Roger sat on the chair.

Example: Roger walked down the street.

Again the word down is a given. He wouldn’t be floating along the street, now would he?

Correct: Roger walked along the street.

Example: Roger set his coffee cup down on the table.

Again down is a given.

Correct: Roger set his coffee cup on the table.

Example: Roger looked down at the small child.

A small child will be lower than a grown man (we hope) unless the child is up a tree.

Correct: Roger looked at the small child.

You’ll find deleting down in your writing will lower your word count, which is always a good thing.

When is it okay to use down? You can use down to indicate a direction.

Example: The cat climbed down the tree.

Example: The leaf floated down.

Example: The bird fluttered down onto the lawn.


Common Misused Words

Common Misused Words
by Janice Seagraves

We’ve all been guilty of this, and it does happen to the best of us. And poor old spell checker can only catch misspelled words, not wrong word choices. So here are some common wrong word usages to be aware of.

Than instead of then

Think instead of thing

Thing instead of think (I do this one a lot)

He instead of her (something I noticed in a free read)

Can instead of can’t (I do this one if I’m in a hurry)

Mail instead of male (I saw this one in a post just today)

Her instead of his

His instead of this (from a free read)

Pound instead of pond (my editor caught me on this one)

Noise instead of nose (I did this one once, but caught it during editing)

Dose instead of does (I don’t mean the plural of doe, but the singular to do)

There’s more of course. These are just off the top of my head.
Does anyone want to add to the list?