Monday Muddle: two, too, to

Happy New Year! I wish you clear writing and all good things in 2022! Please, if over the course of the year you have occasion to write out twenty twenty-two in words, make sure that you spell “two” correctly. Nobody wants twenty twenty too!

Monday Muddle: two: (noun)(adjective) one more than one; the second in a series too: (adverb) also; very, excessively to: (preposition) indicates direction, position, or purpose

Monday Muddle: merrily, merely

Monday Muddle: merrily: (adverb) happily; cheerfully; with good feelings; in a joyous manner Part of the song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat. merely: (adverb) only; just; simply; nothing more than; nothing better than NOT part of the song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".

To row merely down the stream does not mean the same as to row merrily down the stream. You can do both, even at the same time. But if you are trying to quote the nursery rhyme, you actually want to row gently down the stream. 

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

Monday Muddle: parson, person

Monday Muddle: parson: (noun) member of the clergy; vicar; priest person: (noun) an individual; human being
A sign on a shop window that reads, "Only 2 parsons allowed inside".

Sometimes I am asked, “Do people really mix those up?” Yes. All the muddles I share with you have been seen in real life. Usually they are in the middle of a document, and I just add them to my list. Occasionally, I have a photo of them.

Now, to be fair, I’m not completely certain if this store has had previous problems with gangs of clergy that they are trying to avoid, or if they just had trouble with their spelling. Either way, someone may be confused about who is allowed in.

Monday Muddle: opt in, opt-in

Monday Muddle: opt in: (phrasal verb) choose to enroll; choose to register; choose to participate Used most frequently to indicate signing up online for an email list. opt-in: (adjective) usually used before "form" or "box" to describe the place where someone can choose to register; (noun) a shorter version of "opt-in form" For example: My opt-in is on every page of my website.

I have seen “optin” as one word without a hyphen used as a noun occasionally. It is not yet standard, but I expect it will be one day. If you choose to use this variant, be aware that autocorrect may change it to “option”.