How to make your writing more vivid
Distribute ebook on variety of ereaders, tablets

Don’t slay your writing: Slew vs. slough

O! The Oregon-139402_1920 number of times I’ve seen writers misuse these two words!

A slough is a slow moving stream, as in With no current to push them downstream, they easily waded across the slough. Sometimes, though, writers like to use slough when they mean to use slew.

Slew has two meanings. First, it’s the past tense of slay – to kill – as in During the epic journey, the warriors slew many opponents. Secondly (and here’s where the confusion comes in), it can mean many, as in A slew of UFO sightings have been reported in the county this past month.

Common sense would suggest that slough would mean many, as the metaphor of the stream seems to make more sense than using the past tense of slay. However, in this case English adopted from the Irish the word slue, which means crowd. Over time, the spelling of slue changed to slew.

And now many English language writers want to drown the guy who did that to the Irish word.

Need an editor? Having your book, business document or academic paper proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. Whether you come from a big city like Modesto, California, or a small town like Hard Scratch, Iowa, I can provide that second eye.


Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)