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Why Do People Use Break Instead of Brake?

I went online this morning to find some info about adjusting my rear brakes. I had tried the method of backing up and hitting the brakes but that was simply not getting the job done. The first article I came upon was a Dodge Forum article about adjusting the rear brakes. As soon as I clicked on the article…I shut my computer down. That awful “B” word was right there at the beginning. When did brake become break? I guess I missed the memo on that one.

Because they don’t teach spelling in school anymore (my assumption based on what I see on the internet, and in newspapers).

I can excuse that misspelling in an online post, but I have seen the same thing in a newspaper article.

So there are no longer any editors in newspapers or magazines.

The OP used brake in the body of his post. My guess is that spell check screwed up again, just as it almost always does.

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jt, I hope that is sarcasm, as placing blame on the software for a spelling error is a cop-out, in my opinion.

Very, very accurate statement. My impression from having worked with college freshmen (high school graduates) for 17 years… :open_mouth: Their English, math, science, understanding of our political system, knowledge of history, and command of all the basics I learned in school is absolutely abysmal. Our primary and secondary schools have been derelict in their responsibilities for many years now, brainwashing the students rather than teaching them. Actually, I think the problem is now what the TEACHERS have been taught!!! That, sadly, is how long this dereliction has been going on.

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No, it’s not sarcastic. I know that I am ultimately responsible for spelling errors, but spell check isn’t all that helpful IMO. For me, it almost always picks something I didn’t mean. If it isn’t useful, why does Apple provide it and not allow the user to turn it off? I almost always check my spelling anyway because spell check is wrong so often. Sometimes I forget, and there’s that stupid error, often from spell check, staring back at me.

Turn off the auto-correct part of it, that’s what I do. It will highlight what it thinks is an error. You can then correct it (learning how to spell meanwhile) or ignore it. There are lots of features in the mac that I totally ignore…

Sorry, don’t recall how to set it that way, as I did that a long time ago and it carried over through upgrades. But in Safari, the edit -> spelling and grammar menu allows you to turn it on and off. There was some general setting that allowed you to set check but don’t correct. I’ll look into it further…

Spell checker does not catch the wrong word spelled correctly. As pointed out, spelling is not a seriously taught subject these days!

Even automotive writers goof up sometimes. Like “This vehicle was equipped for Northern ‘climactic’ conditions.”

As far as I can tell, it happened around the same time that “a lot” (two words!) became distorted into one non-word, namely “alot”. In case you haven’t noticed, a huge percentage of the people posting in online forums think that “alot” is actually a word. In many cases, these are the same people who use “your” when the correct usage is “you’re”, and “there” in place of “their”, and “they’re”.

While it is tempting to blame this phenomenon on modern schooling, the fact that some people who post in this forum–who are approximately the same advanced age that I have reached–also make these same mistakes tends to make me think that the problem is more likely to be one of inattention to detail than to poor schooling.

Surely you have noticed that some of the older guys in this forum make the mistakes in spelling/usage that I just mentioned.

Our language contains ‘homophones’. Words that sound the same when spoken but are spelled differently and have different meanings. A common example would be Son, sun. I proofread everything I type prior to clicking post or send and still occasionally miss things.

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I agree, proofread everything, and still there are errors…

Perfection is exhausting. This isn’t English class, it’s a discussion group dealing with questions related to vehicles. If I can understand the sentence I just carry on. Yes, sometimes I cringe, but that’s just not the point, so I cringe in silence.

For 40 years I was a lawyer, for 20 of those years I was a judge. Some of the grammar and spelling I saw, in documents written or at least edited by licensed attorneys with 19 years of formal education, was shocking. There I felt I was allowed to point out the deficiencies, because these were people posing as skilled advocates. In a forum like this one the circumstances are different and, as I said, I cringe in silence.


@wentwest: good point.




be-is-am-are-was-were been…

While I am amused and sometimes concerned re the declining state of education these days as is seen in text postings and even documents it doesn’t matter much to me as long as I am able to decipher what someone is trying to express.This is a forum for board(sic) gearheads to babble on about various successes and failures and observations while occasionally helping some confused motorist out of a bad situation. Confused motorists may have a great deal on their minds more important than how to conjugate start. But I am often peeved at the insistence of many to use the term START in place of CRANK when appropriate… But don’t mind me, just carry on.

My third career, after retiring from the field of education and earning my third academic degree, was as a Paralegal for the child protective agency in my state. I, along with a late middle-aged woman, was responsible for drafting the court complaints in my county in regard to child neglect, child abuse, and forfeiture of parental rights. We had to rely on reports from caseworkers when we drafted those complaints, and the mistakes in those reports–on the part of caseworkers in their 20s, as well as those in their 30s, 40s & 50s–were incredible to see.

Perhaps the most unforgettable gaffe was a reference to a child who suffered from “Lyloris Penosis”. :unamused: HUH?
Although I am well-versed in medical terminology, this was a new one for me, so I consulted our medical dictionary, which–of course–did not list that condition.

So, I went in search of the person who had written that report, and after she insisted a few times that she was correct, I asked her to describe the child’s symptoms. As soon as she described the symptoms, I knew that the actual medical condition was Pyloric Stenosis. I wrote it down for the 40-something caseworker, so that she could edit her report, and she said–Well, you knew what I meant.
NO! I had no clue what she meant when she invented the spelling for a medical condition that she was apparently also not able to pronounce correctly, and I wasted ~30 minutes as a result of her mistake.

Of course, after drafting those complaints, they had to be reviewed by both supervisors and a Deputy AG before the documents could be submitted to The Court. My co-worker–who was only a few years younger than I am–could be counted-on to make a LOT of mistakes, and even after being corrected (in red ink) multiple times by the DAG, she could be counted-on to make the same mistakes again and again.

This late middle-aged co-worker was a graduate of Virginia Tech, so clearly she was both intelligent and well-educated, but she kept making the same mistakes. One day, I can recall the DAG–in exasperation–raising her voice and saying, “Anne–We are seeking to sever the parental rights. We are not seeking to ‘severe’ them”.

Guess what? Next week…the same mistake.
As I stated, inattention to detail is the likely explanation in a whole lot of cases.

I remember writing a theme in 8th grade where I used buy instead of by. I still remember being corrected for it and have never done it again. True it can be a little tiring for people that don’t think it’s important, but it is an indicator of what else is missing in a person’s education. Maybe the next generation won’t care or know but for this one, I immediately discount what the person is saying and question their ability. Maybe they get confused with alot and allot?

OK, when the thread started it was at least glancingly car-related because it addressed the correct spelling of an apparatus that stops a vehicle. I’m having a hard time seeing how this pertains to the forum subject - could you please redirect it? Thanks.

In the CarTalk blogs Jim Motavalli refers to the Olds Toronado as the “Tornado”.

I was 18 years old when press releases began to announce the imminent release of the Toronado, and I was very excited by that development. However, I had apparently failed to read those press releases accurately, because I mistakenly believed that its model name was “Tornado”. Imagine my embarrassment a few months later when I learned that its model name was actually “Toronado”.

50+ years later, what is Mr Motavalli’s excuse for screwing-up that model name?

I only get upset when the error is made by someone who’s profession is writing. Recently an unoccupied city bus had a minor roll away accident. The article stated the driver neglected to engage the parking break.