Wednesday, December 1, 2010...5:49 pm

Subbing tip #11: To err is human – but incorrect

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BBC - who grows a moustache nowadays? Err, meSpotted everywhere, and now on the BBC, people going “err” when they want to indicate a certain uncertainty.

This is odd – there’s a perfectly legitimate word for this, but it only has one “r”. Adding more because you think it makes it sound more hesitant has a certain logic, but is just plain wrong.

So, from Dictionary.com:

“Er” – an “interjection used to express or represent a pause, hesitation, uncertainty,etc”

“Err” – “to go astray in thought or belief” – and, indeed, spelling.

Er, that’s it.

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