The principal (or most important) principle (or basic rule) of writing is to know something about the language you’re writing in. The writer for Yahoo! Shine illustrates one possible outcome if you dare to violate that principle:
Who woulda thunk it!? There it is, right on Yahoo! Shine: Anything that is negotiable is — wait for it — negotiable! Yes, everything negotiable is negotiable, except for school administrators:
It’s fairly obvious that the writer doesn’t know the difference between a principle (which is a basic truth, law, or assumption) and a principal (which is someone or something with the highest rank, like a school administrator). You know what else is obvious? That the writer didn’t do a spell check, because even the crappiest spell checker would find this repeated word:
(Some writers don’t know that if the words within parentheses are a complete sentence, then the ending punctuation belongs inside the parentheses, too.) Oops, here’s a misplaced period:
And here’s another homophonic horror: The possessive pronoun its instead of the contraction it’s:
It’s getting more obvious that the writer doesn’t know when to use an apostrophe, because she missed one here, too:
Pronouns are pesky little things, aren’t they? They generally have to refer to a noun, and when they don’t, they just don’t make a lot of sense:
Is it asking asking too much that a professional writer proofread her work or at least use a spell checker?
So, was there an investigation going on? Were the cops looking into some guy’s educational background, and questioning his schools’ principals?
Or was the Yahoo! Shine writer confusing a school administrator, or principal, with a rule or standard, aka a principle.?
Is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stalking school administrators? He admits to following principals all his political life, according to Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket”:
You’d think that he’d be talking about his principles, like his standards of ethics and morality. But noooo.
A totally unscientific study conducted by Terribly Write has found that your writing reveals a lot about your personality. Based on an analysis of a single article on Yahoo! Shine, the study’s author concludes that the words you use and your attention to grammar and spelling can disclose personality traits and quirks. How many of these apply to you?
You don’t capitalize proper nouns: You’re a free spirit, unencumbered by the chains of grammar, unfettered by the need to recognize proper nouns with a touch of the Shift key:
You can’t distinguish between homophones: You cling to the principle that words don’t matter, that if two words are pronounced the same, then either one will do:
You overlook small typos: You believe that the smaller the word, the less important it is to communication; one indefinite article is as good as another;
You really, really don’t capitalize proper nouns: You’re a go-getter who doesn’t waste time holding down the Shift key. You have places to go! Words to mangle!
Your writing contains strings of words with no discernible meaning: You’re unconcerned about your image and the effect your mistakes have on others. “Who cares if it makes no sense!” is your personal mantra:
You really have trouble with homophones and hyphens: Despite your good intentions, you often make mistakes, whether it’s using the wrong word or omitting hyphens:
You can’t match a subject to a verb: These types of people are crowd-pleasers, who make mistakes, even if by doing so they sound a bit illiterate. Self-expression outweighs the need to avoid typos:
You ignore punctuation: You’re laid-back with a fondness for vintage abbreviations like M.D. and a disregard of correctly punctuating book titles:
You use random capital letters: You’re a fun-loving prankster who likes to play practical jokes on your readers by using capital letters indiscriminately:
You omit words: You think your readers are too stupid to notice you’ve omitted a word, but not this time, buddy:
Does this sound like you? If so, you, too, could get a job as a writer for Yahoo!.
A woman could be raised by a principal, especially if her mom or dad was the administrator of a school. But raised on the principal? Not so much. Just don’t believe everything you read on Yahoo! Shine
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, principal “refers to a person who holds a high position or plays an important role.” Principle “usually refers to a rule or standard.”
If you’re inclined to believe everything you read on Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket,” this might come as a bit of a shocker: Mike Huckabee questioned Rick Perry’s conservative school administrators:
If, on the other hand, you’re at least a sixth grade graduate, you’ll spot the obvious homophonic gaffe. A principle is a basic law, rule, or truth. A principal is the head of a school or organization.
Hey, this could be worse. The reporter could have called it “corps principals.”
This tidbit comes to you from “The Ticket” on Yahoo! News.
Newt Gingrich’s non-profit, Renewing American Leadership, promotes Christian principals in Washington. I’m thinking the promotion is to district superintendent, but I can’t imagine there are many openings in D.C. But I read it on Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket” so it must be true:
According to the reporter for Yahoo! News‘ “The Ticket,” critics of Mitt Romney’s health care plan for Massachusetts violates conservative school administrators:
The homophonically challenged writer meant principles, basic rules, standards, or truths.