Insider 7-12-2011

First of all, let me join the chorus in saying how much I enjoyed seeing those of you who came to Lock & Load. I’ve been to many gaming conventions over the years, and I have to say, you guys are the best. I saw players going out of their way to teach and encourage newbies, bringing their most competitive edge to the table, lending models so someone could play, and cheering on perfect strangers in games and other competitions over the weekend. What a fun and supportive community! I hope to see even more of you at Lock & Load 2012.

In the meantime it’s back to the trenches for all of us here at Privateer. For me that means words, words, words in all their glory as the first expansion book for HORDES Mk II comes together. Go, go Domination! Because I’m surrounded by words, I thought I’d pull together a list of a few that are commonly confused with each other. This is just a sampling; if you’re nice to me I may treat you to more over time. Enjoy, and good writing!

accept/except

To “accept” something is to take it or agree to it. “Except” can be a verb—it means to exclude or leave out—but its usual meaning is “other than.”

“I never accept advice from others,” said Vinter, “except when I like it.”

affect/effect

If you are referring to an action (a verb), ninety-nine times out of a hundred you mean “affect.” If you mean a thing (a noun), the word you want is “effect.”

Trick of Remembering: The action (affect) comes before the end result (effect).

The escape affected Vlad’s recital when the rabbits had a startling effect on the power.

Then there’s that one time out of a hundred . . . “Effect,” when used as a verb, means achieve or bring about.

Annoyed at the interruption, Karchev effected the, er, removal of the fluffy little troublemakers.

complement/compliment

This pair of words is doubly confusing, because each of them has a definition as a noun as well as a verb. Luckily, the verb form of each has a direct tie to the noun form.

Trick of Remembering: I can give you a compliment.

To “compliment” is to praise or admire; as a noun it’s an expression of praise or admiration.

Asphyxious enjoyed complimenting Deneghra at odd times.

To “complement” is to complete, round out, or bring to perfection. This is where we get the phrase “a full complement,” which we use to describe the maximum or appropriate number of individuals in a group (such as with soldiers or bridesmaids).

“That scar complements your eyes,” Asphyxious murmured to Deneghra. Concerned with getting her complement of thralls in line, she ignored him.

loose/lose

This is a matter of watching those Os. “Loose” means free, unrestrained, or relaxed; “lose” means to misplace or be defeated—not that you need to know that definition. ;)

Trick of Remembering: Lose the extra o to get “lose”; allow it to roam loose to get “loose.”

If he loses his temper, he’ll set the gobbers loose!

than/then

“Than” and “then” are similar only in the way they sound. If you’re comparing or contrasting things, use “than,” as in “more than” or “less than.” On the other hand, if one thing follows or results from another, use “then.”

Trick of Remembering: Comparing A to B requires “than.” Or, it’s first one thing, then the other.

“Hey, look at that, I have more warjacks left than you do!” jeered Stryker.
“Yeah? Let me get a closer look at ’em, then we’ll see.” his enemy answered.