Blue carrots? Editor required!July 30, 2014
Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but are spelled differently. Examples include:
- they’re, their, and there
- to, two, and too
- raise, raze, and rays.
And then there’s carat, caret, and carrot:
- ‘Carat’ is a measure of mass, and is typically associated with gemstones such as diamonds.
- A ‘caret’ is an inverted ‘V’ character: ^. The other ‘V’ characters on the keyboard are known as angle brackets or ‘chevrons’ and look like this: < and >
- And a carrot is a root vegetable, typically orange (though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist too).
A good editor will know which word to use in which context, or, if in doubt, will check a dictionary to find out.
Which brings me to a PowerPoint presentation about some software being rolled out to tens of thousands of staff in a very large global company. In the PowerPoint presentation was this gem:
Not only was the incorrect spelling used, but the incorrect word was used too. That symbol (which I’ve seen called all sorts of things, but NEVER a caret—let alone a carrot!) is sometimes known as a right arrow or a ‘chevron’ or an expand icon, or a ‘more information’ button.
Not a caret, and certainly not a blue carrot!