What’s the ‘right’ way?

P1050861So here’s my pet peeve – I mean public service offering – for the day. As a writer with a degree in journalism, I do some kind of auto-cringe thing when I see misspelled words and incorrect word usage (as in your when it should be you’re or it’s when it should be its) in a written piece that’s being distributed in public. I can’t help it. When I was in J-school, the Associated Press Stylebook was The Bible. We studied it, memorized it, lived by it.
As an author, I still use it today. Of course I still have my trusty Webster’s dictionary, and Strunk & White’s Elements of Style, along with a smattering of other editing books and style guides.
Mistakes happen. We all know that. And they are a hundred percent easier to spot once they’re distributed, or in print. That’s a given.

My issue today is the fierceness with which some people cling to an incorrect usage. It’s as if they’ve seen something spelled incorrectly (think alot) for so long, that they bought into it, and now insist that it become a legitimate “form” of the word!
I recently offered a polite correction on a Facebook feed because I genuinely do want to help other writers when I can. Well, let’s just say my efforts weren’t appreciated.

But for the record, here’s how you spell that word that starts with an A when you want to thank or acknowledge the people who helped you with your book:
Acknowledgments
There’s no E after the G. I double-checked the AP Stylebook. Now some dictionaries may have acquiesced to the “other acceptable forms” concept, but I also went and looked inside several books on my shelves published by famous authors. Guess what? Anthony Doerr, Nora Roberts, John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, Jodi Picoult, Jan Karon, Rebecca Wells, Nora Ephron, and more all spell acknowledgments the same way – without the extra E.
Perhaps acknowledgments is the preferred way of spelling the word.
Just a friendly FYI! 🙂

Happy reading and writing!

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