Why do SO many agents misuse "advice" and "advise?"
I've been wondering about that this week more than ever because I've been reading the entries in the October challenge about the very best advice for new agents.
I was just given the answer. Now I know why misuse of these words is growing by leaps and bounds. It's because agents are relying on Word to correct their mistakes.
I'm working on an agent bio and wrote: "He feels it's his duty to advise and protect…"
Word popped up to tell me "No, no, no. Change advise to advice."
Word is notorious for giving wrong advice, and after using Grammarly for a few days, I found that it also gives incorrect advice at times. Sometimes it's because the computer doesn't know what you mean. Other times – as in today's example – it's just plain goofy.
So what's an agent to do? Take the time to do the research.
When you get a message saying "Change this," don't assume that the computer is correct. Stop, look, read, and see if what it says sounds right or wrong. If you're not sure, take the time to go to Grammar Girl or some other grammar site and find out.
Just in case you aren't sure about these words:
Advice is a noun. You can give advice and you can get advice.
Advise is a verb. You advise someone.
When you advise someone, you offer them your advice.
There should be some better trick to remember this, but the only one I can think of at the moment is that advice is a noun and ice is a noun. You can give someone advice and you can give someone ice.
I suppose you could ice someone… but I don't recommend it, because if you did, you'd go to jail. (And ice would have become a verb.)
But meanwhile, you can't advice someone. So… don't try.
Grammar book Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net |Ice image courtesy of morguefile.com