Is It Home In or Hone In? Fun with Words Week 2

This photo is of one of the walls in the conference center at the #AloftSeattleRedmond. I was honored to facilitate a three-day Advanced Communications Program for a cohort of emerging leaders for one of my clients, and we all got a kick out of the creative artwork throughout the meeting area. But, can you tell what the wall is composed of? Look closely.

 

 

In fact, we’ll use this photo to introduce our #GrammarforGrownups question this week. Which word is correct?

If you [home in, hone in] on this photo, you can tell the entire wall is composed of old keyboard keys.

Scroll for the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: home in

If you home in on this photo, you can tell the entire wall is composed of old keyboard keys. 

I have always said hone in similar situations.

 

I have always been wrong.

 

To home in means to get closer to something such as an object or a goal or the truth. Picture a homing pigeon (why haven’t I realized that before).

To hone means to sharpen something—and you don’t hone in on anything.

My son honed his test-taking skills in preparation for the ACT.

And, I’m certainly honing my vocabulary this month.

 

Can you think of other examples of words you have been using incorrectly without realizing it?

 

 

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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Grammar Grappler #29: Postpone Reading This Until Later

“Larry decided to postpone sending the email until later that afternoon.”

“I’m going postpone doing my geometry homework until later.

 

Have you ever heard someone use the phrase “postpone until later”? It kind of just rolls off the tongue, but it’s poor usage.

Postpone automatically indicates later. If you postpone studying, it means you’re not going to study until later.

So, the practical grammar tip here is to always eliminate “until later.” Just say postpone.

After all, you’ve never heard someone decide to postpone studying until earlier.

 

 

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

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