Monday Muddle: strait, straight

strait: (noun) a narrow body of water that connects two larger bodies of water Used in the expression “dire straits” straight: (adjective) (adverb) moving in one direction; level; upright; not crooked, curved, or bent NOT used in the expression “dire straits”.

Monday Muddle: grammar, grammer

grammar: (noun) the study of the structure of language, word order, and how words change (according to tense, for example); the system of rules that guides the use of language; a book about grammar grammer: (noun) an affectionate term for someone who uses Instagram (who may or may not care …

Monday Muddle: affect, effect

By far the most common uses of affect and effect are affect as a verb and effect as a noun. The memory trick I use to help keep them straight is that affect is an action and starts with A. A is for action. Effect is a consequence or end result. E is for end. And if you have trouble remembering which is which, I would recommend trying to avoid the less common versions.

Monday Muddle affect: (verb) to alter; to change; to make a difference to; to sway the emotions of; (noun) facial expressions, gestures, vocal sounds that display emotion, often insincerely effect: (noun) end result; consequence; change resulting from an action or other cause; used in the term "special effects": (verb) to cause something to happen; usually used in the expression "to effect change"

Monday Muddle: uncharted, unchartered

Monday Muddle: uncharted: (adjective) describes a physical area that has not had a map or survey done of it; used figuratively to talk of areas that are new to the person navigating them Used in the expression uncharted territory. unchartered: (adjective)(uncommon, at least in its correct sense) describes an organization that does not have a charter or written constitution Not used in the expression uncharted territory.

Chartered (adjective) can mean to have a charter or constitution, but it can also be used to describe a vehicle that has been rented, usually with the driver, for private tours.

The other day a friend asked me how long Gilligan’s trip was supposed to be. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s okay; it just means you are young. (But if you ever need the answer for a trivia competition, it was a three hour tour.) Gilligan was working on a boat that was chartered. They may have ended up in uncharted waters, but because they were there, they were not unchartered waters.