Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

Reporter Fails to Wax Eloquent

Date: 10 June 2013
Category: Homophones, Media Mistakes

A local newspaper sent out one of their Atlanta journalists to interview, Lauren Miller, a former resident who has written a novel called Parallel. The book is a sci-fi story about a woman who awakes one morning in an alternate version of her life inside another universe.

The author, when asked if her career objective had always been to become a writer, answered something to the effect that her interest had faded during her time in college. The newspaper correspondent, however, wrote the comment that the novelist’s pre-0ccupation with that career at that time had “wained.” (sic)

So, here we have a newspaper reporter sent out on an assignment to interview a writer about writing, who turns around and pens a glaring spelling error for the past tense of the word “wane.”

While there is such a word as “wain,” its meaning has nothing to do decreasing or dwindling, but rather is a noun meaning a wagon or a cart, a large or heavy vehicle used in farming.

Perhaps the typo can be attributed to the waning in the June moon phases calendar that occurred last week.

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