Writing Prompt: Just who and why?
Five tips for taking a book cover photo

Don’t be led to ruin: Wrack vs. rack

Too many Grammarwriters suffer at the hands of these two words.

Rack, as a verb, generally means to torture (rack my brains). As a noun, it can mean a variety of things, but the forms most often misspelled are those referring to an instrument of torture (The inquisitor planned to stretch his limbs on the rack.) or to be in a state of deep anguish (racked with sorrow). Rack as a noun also can refer to a frame, this its use as a verb in rack up points or rack billiard balls.

Wreak, as a verb, means to wreck (to wreak havoc). As a noun, it means ruin or destruction (Cleveland has been going to wrack for decades.).

The easy way to remember the difference is rack = torture while wrack, with an extra letter, goes the extra step of actually destroying something.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript 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 Sacramento, California, or a small town like Intercourse, Pennsylvania, I can provide that second eye.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

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

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.


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.)