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Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2016 3:50:38 PM

Rank: Story Moderator
Moderator

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 451
Location: lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction
The misuse of 'breath' and 'breathe' is probably low on most writer's list of thing to get right. However, there seems to be more mis-use than usual and since keen-eyed editors are always after minor errors to excuse their rejecting our priceless work, here's the difference from a pronunciation perspective.

breath: ex. "She took a deep breath."
breathe: ex. "She couldn't breathe."

I'll leave it to any members of the SAGP (Self-Appointed Grammar Police) who might be lurking to give an explanation for the difference.

No need to thank me. Just another fine, free service of, No Hope of Publication, ent.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

elizabethblack
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2016 5:48:35 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/12/2014
Posts: 1,128
thank you, great example. Another: She took a deep breath, hoping to be able to breathe through the smog.

gypsy
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 12:31:25 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,594
Rumple_deWriter wrote:
The misuse of 'breath' and 'breathe' is probably low on most writer's list of thing to get right. However, there seems to be more mis-use than usual and since keen-eyed editors are always after minor errors to excuse their rejecting our priceless work, here's the difference from a pronunciation perspective.

breath: ex. "She took a deep breath."
breathe: ex. "She couldn't breathe."

I'll leave it to any members ... who might be lurking to give an explanation for the difference.

No need to thank me. Just another fine, free service of, No Hope of Publication, ent.

glasses8


The explanation of the difference is quite simple, but adds to the importance of correct usage for each of the words.

breath - noun

breathe - verb

For those who need further explanation as to the difference between a noun and a verb, I'll leave it to someone else to fill in the gaps.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



Rebellious_Soul
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 6:35:37 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 4,835
Location: In the Void, United States
I didn't know people had problems with this... O.o

Because I can,
because I want to,
And because who are you to tell me otherwise?
Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 7:44:31 AM

Rank: Story Moderator
Moderator

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 451
Location: lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction
Thanks, Gypsy. Rebellious, I'm not sure if many writers are making this mistake, or if I'm just picking up on this mis-use. The thing is, being blind, I use a screen reader to hear what's on my computer screen. As I listen to stories, the text-to-speech reader correctly pronounces the words, making their mis-use obvious...even to an old blind dude, so to speak. ;)

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

AnnaMayZing
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 9:28:44 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/1/2015
Posts: 4,804
To breathe is the result of taking a series of breaths.


The third part of this epic journey starts here... https://www.storiesspace.com/stories/drama/the-long-road-home-chapter-1.aspx


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
gypsy
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 10:44:55 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,594
Rumple_deWriter wrote:
Thanks, Gypsy. Rebellious, I'm not sure if many writers are making this mistake, or if I'm just picking up on this mis-use. The thing is, being blind, I use a screen reader to hear what's on my computer screen. As I listen to stories, the text-to-speech reader correctly pronounces the words, making their mis-use obvious...even to an old blind dude, so to speak. ;)

glasses8


With that you nail a particular aspect of the English language.

It is deceptively simple, but actually quite complex.

There are pronunciation rules in English, and then, hold on! there are the exceptions, irregularities, and then stuff you just need to know about, based on however long you've been acquainted with the language, what sort of background you have, what your schooling was, and so on and on and on and so forth and will it ever end no it won't why are you even asking that argghhhh!!!!

As an example, listen to this:

Close the door.

Are you close to the door?

The pronunciation of "close" is significantly different in each sentence, but each are correct.

How do you teach this?

With difficulty.

Can it be codified?

Not easily.

What is the answer?

There isn't one. Just listen and hear and think and learn.











The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



adi_me
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 3:23:46 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/14/2015
Posts: 170
Location: On the beach, United States
I'm outta breath!! Seriously, I can't breathe!

Both words look really strange sometimes when I type them, I have no idea why :)
akatsuki_dragon
Posted: Monday, March 7, 2016 10:00:20 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/10/2013
Posts: 180
Location: Sinning
i am guilty of making that mistake when I was younger

Quote:
Her courage was her crown and she wore it like a queen -Atticus
Welshdreamer42
Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2016 7:03:53 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/22/2015
Posts: 254
Location: United Kingdom
Rebellious_Soul wrote:
I didn't know people had problems with this... O.o


Auto correct and Grammarly can't tell the two apart. Never trust them evil4

"You live and learn. At any rate, you live."

Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
(Hitchhiker's Guide, #5)
JWren
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:21:57 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/24/2015
Posts: 2,195
Location: United Kingdom
If you can't breathe, you've run out of breath - and nothing matters after that!

Fredrock
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 6:55:12 AM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 8/23/2016
Posts: 3
Location: The weeds, United States
I wonder what it is with "breathe" and "breath". Whatever it is, "lose" and "loose" are serial offenders as well.
DannyX
Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:46:13 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 9/10/2017
Posts: 24
Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
I believe breathe was the original spelling of breath.
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