IntroductionCONTINUALLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION, HOWEVER: This page is designed to address common writing mistakes seen on SP regarding posts in the forum or in contribution of various page objects.
This page also serves as a "link hub" to many of SP's excellent "how to" resources. Please add any suggestions in the COMMENTS section and we’ll incorporate them into the page content periodically (and erase the comment suggestion once that is done). Be sure to bookmark this page, or add it to your favorite links list for future reference! Thanks! --AJ
ATTENTION: Help for Non-English Contributors!WRITERS OUTSIDE THE U.S: The following SP members can help you translate your text to English, if their schedule allows. Please PM or email them for assistance.
Nartreb (French & Spanish)
Lower Marmot (Spanish)
WRITING & PUNCTUATIONThis section addresses common writing mistakes seen on SP’s pages and in the forums.
It's a good idea to check your work with your spellcheck and grammar checking software before submitting your text. Most folks forget that this feature is in their computer! It's a great tool and makes proofreading and correction much easier.
However, computers often miss a number of incongruities as well! That's where this resource page might be of help.
Thanks for stopping by and looking over this page.
SPELLING & USAGE
The following words are often used incorrectly on SP in forum and page text.
Their (Used to infer possession)
EXAMPLES: “It is their car.” “It is theirs, not mine.”
They’re (Contraction of “they are”)
EXAMPLES: “They’re going to climb El Capitan.” “It won’t work if they’re not taking a rope.”
There (Used to indicate “place”)
EXAMPLES: “Mount Morrison is over there.” “There is another possibility.”
Then (Time or choice reference)
EXAMPLES: “If you don’t use a figure eight knot, then perhaps use a bowline.” “It was great back then.”
Than (Used in differentiation)
EXAMPLES: “Rather than climb this route, hike up this trail.” “The former is better than the latter.”
EXAMPLES: “It was a someone whose credibility was in question.” “Whose cams are these?”
Who’s (Contraction of “who is”)
EXAMPLES: “Who’s going to carry the rope?” “Who’s he?”
EXAMPLE: “It is your responsibility to coil the rope.”
Yours (Implying possession to someone)
EXAMPLE : “The responsibility is yours.”
You're (Contraction of “you are”)
EXAMPLE : “You’re going to coil the rope.”
It's (Contraction of “it is”)
EXAMPLE : “It’s your responsibility to coil the rope.”
Who is = who’s “Who’s going to carry the rope?”
Where is = where’s “Where’s that number 5?”
There is = there’s “There’s a chock pick in the rack.”
Why is = why’s “Why’s the chalk not with the rack?”
What is = what’s “What’s this nut doing in here?”
When is = when’s “When’s the climb going to happen?”
Tuesday is = Tuesday’s “Tuesday’s the day of the climb.”
She is = she’s “She’s going to fall.”
He is = he’s “He’s going to fall.”
John is = John’s “John’s going to lead this climb.”
We are = we’re “We’re going to the Johnson’s house for lunch.”
We will = we’ll “We’ll be going to the diner afterwards.”
You all = y’all “You know y’all are invited.”
You will = you’ll “You’ll be glad you did.”
You are = you’re “You’re going to be glad you did.”
It is = it’s “It’s going to be cold up there.”
Apostrophes are the most commonly misused punctuation on SP. Words with apostrophes are simply words that have been contracted (shortened) from two words into one, usually involving the word “is” and other short words. This is the only time apostrophes should be used in a word. If an apostrophe is used at the end of a name, it indicates a possession. The apostrophe is used in a name ending in “s” at the END of the name, otherwise it is inserted prior to an “s.”
“It is Simmons’ rope.”
“We are going to the Johnson’s house for lunch.”
“Rope coiling is a climber’s responsibility.”
“That is someone else’s responsibility.”
APOSTROPHE USE IN NAMES
“It’s Randy’s backpack.”
“Cindy’s bringing her camera.”
“We are going to Jack Simmons’ house.”
“John Schusters’ pack was found on the mountain.”
A plural word indicates multiples and DOES NOT NEED AN APOSTROPHE.
FAs: Abbreviation for “First Ascent” is multiplied to “First Ascents”. Using a small “s” is fine, no apostrophe needed.
The following are multiples, so no apostrophe is needed.
Tuesdays: “Seminars are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
Member/members: “The members are in agreement.”
Johnson/Johnsons: “The Johnsons are coming over.” “Ten Whilloughbys were at the reunion.” "All of the Liermans were there."
INCORRECT PLURALS FOLLOWED BY CORRECT PLURALS:
deers = deer
fishes = fish
sheeps = sheep
gooses = geese
mooses = moose
mouses = mice
"A" and "AN"
The words "a" and "an" are often used incorrectly. "An" usually precedes a word beginning with a VOWEL (A, E, I, O or U). This can get tricky, because some letters are consonants, but are SPOKEN as a vowel! Below are some tricky and admittedly confusing examples.
INCORRECT: "That is a excellent idea."
CORRECT: "That is an excellent idea."
AN precedes "excellent" because of the vowel at the begnning of the word.
Examples using the other vowels:
INCORRECT: "That is a Aaron Johnson page."
CORRECT: "That is an Aaron Johnson page."
INCORRECT: "You are a idiot."
CORRECT: "You are an idiot."
INCORRECT: "That is a opinion I disagree with."
CORRECT: "That is an opinion I disagree with."
INCORRECT: "That is a underhand knot."
CORRECT: "That is an underhand knot."
USING "AN" WITH CONSONANTS THAT SOUND LIKE VOWELS
INCORRECT: "He is a SP member."
CORRECT: "He is an SP member."
AN is used because even though "SP" is two consonants, "s" is SPOKEN as a vowel ("es"). Yes, it's a mind blower, but such is the weirdness of the English language.
Here are other examples:
INCORRECT: "Insert a "F" for female here."
CORRECT: "Insert an "F" for female here."
INCORRECT: "Notation on the map is a "H"."
CORRECT: "Notation on the map is an "H"."
INCORRECT: "His name begins with a R, not a W."
CORRECT: "His name begins with an R, not a W."
It can get very confusing with situations that can go either way. In the following case, either way is correct since for many, the "H" in "historical" would be SILENT when SPOKEN.
"He was speaking in a historical sense."
"He was speaking in an historical sense."
When in doubt, go by the rule as a default.
"To" and "Too"
Another common mistake is the misuse of the words "To" and "Too."
The word "to" implies direction.
EXAMPLES: "He's going to the diner." "He's going to climb the mountain."
The word "too" implies the same meaning as "also." It is also used to add emphasis.
EXAMPLES: "He's eating at the diner too." (Also) "He's too tired to eat at the diner." (Emphasis)
LOSE and LOOSE
LOSE is used to infer that something is lost.
EXAMPLES: "Did you lose your cam?" "Lose that bad attitude, would you?"
LOOSE is used to infer slackness.
EXAMPLES: "Her harness was loose." "The rope easily pulled loose after the rappel."
COMMONLY MISSPELLED WORDS
"Bushwhack" is often incorrectly spelled without the second "h."
"Couloir" is frequently misspelled a variety of ways; one of the most common errors is "coulior."
"Lightning" is what chases us off mountains. "Lightening," as in "lightening our load," occurs when we take items out of a pack to make it weigh less.
An interesting bit of spelling trivia: I've read where "judgment" is the most commonly misspelled word in the English language. That may be true, but only in the U.S. and Canada. British English renders it as "judgement."
Another word often seen gone astray on SP pages is "separate;" it is frequently seen as "seperate."
HERE IS A HELPFUL LINK TO A PAGE THAT COVERS IRREGULAR VERBS WHICH IS A TREMENDOUS RESOURCE!
DO YOU SPEAK AMERICAN?
Any other punctuation instruction suggestions are certainly welcome and appreciated! Add them to the comments section and they will be added to the text routinely. Thanks--AJ
SP "HOW TO" RESOURCESRecommendations for Adding and Maintaining Material on SummitPost
In-depth how-to guide on the basics of being a contributing member on SummitPost. Discusses adding photos, mountain pages and routes.
SP Frequently Asked Questions
SP's FAQ page is extensive and covers everything you need to know about being an actively contributing SP member.
Some Basic HTML Tips
This portion of SP's FAQ page was written and composed by SP staff member Gangolf Haub and is a great key resource to getting started learning computer language for contribution purposes on SP.
Pictures in Tables on Pages
Want to make your page more attractive? Want to add some spice to your contribution's appearance? Here's an excellent instructional resource on how to do that very thing! By one of SP's top contributors, thephotohiker.
Setting Tables and Columns
More page composition tips from SP's thephotohiker to get your page looking the best you want it to look. Great resource for lists and other data or chart presentations.
The Fast and Easy Way to Make Tables at SummitPost
Step by step, straightforward instruction on this topic by SP member myzantrope.
Mountain Glossary Terms
Excellent resource by SP member nartreb that will be helpful to anyone writing text to be contributed to SP.
Dictionary of Mountain Terms
You're writing a route description and need to know what a sharp ridge route might be called. Or, what does "dihedral" mean? This is a great resource for terms and correct spellings in multiple languages, composed by a large host of SP members.
Rendering Special Characters in SP Pages
Excellent instruction on applying various language nuances to your page or post text. Includes Albanian, Croatian, Czech, German, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Scandanavian, Slovak and Slovene text characters. By SP member peterbud.
SP automatically links your page to Topozone for a map reference for the locale your contribution covers. You can also use Topozone to determine the coordinates of your object (a requested field on most SP objects) if you don't previously know them.
Webmonkey HTML Tutorial Site
Excellent HTML teaching resource SP has referred to from the beginning. All you need to know to get your HTML skills up and running is right here.
PHOTOGRAPHY INSTRUCTIONWaiting for the Light
By SP member photohiker on the importance of light in photography.
7 Ways to Post Panoramas to SP
Staff member Gangolf Haub provides excellent instruction on this popular topic, from the basics to the advanced.
Using Polarization Filters
Gangolf Haub provides tips on the uses of filters to get your desired photographic results.
Cropping-The Kindest Cut
SP is blessed with excellent photographers. Mark Doiron is one of them. Get instruction from one of SP's best in this resource on cropping and thus improving your pictures.
Using Graduated Filters
SP's Mark Doiron discusses tips using graduated filters and improving your photographic results.
How to shoot and construct panoramas by SP member Lucas Kunze.
High Dynamic Range Imaging
Article by SP member Vid Pogachnik on a still photo technique utilizing multiple images to bring out the details spanning a wide range tonal detail.