Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

Don’t Quake in Your Boots Over Faulty Grammar

Date: 18 April 2019
Category: History, Nature, Spelling

Today—April 18th, 2019—marks the 113th anniversary of the great San Francisco earthquake, a tremor powerful enough to be recorded thousands of miles away in Cape Town, South Africa. The ensuing fire, which lasted for four days, was equally devastating to the city: over 28,000 buildings were completely destroyed; the city suffered more than $500 million in damages;  700 people were killed; and 250,000 people became homeless.

To this day, reporters and writers are still shook over how to describe the earthquake, sometimes also referred to as a trembler, not to be confused with the Spanish word, temblor, which is an accepted word and spelling in English, as well.

Strictly speaking, grammatically, that is, tremblor, however, is a misspelling that conflates the English word, trembler, with the above Spanish spelling of temblor.

More than the grammar challenge, though, I tremble at the thought of ever being caught in an earthquake.



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