Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I consider it a good day when I learn a new word that I had been spelling incorrectly for many, many years. Sure, I subscribe to that word a day thing from dictionary.com, but most of those words are so obscure, there’s no way I would use them in my writing. I don’t necessarily want my readers to have to reach for a dictionary when they read one of my books.

Now, please don’t ask me what started me on this search, because I really don’t know. Sometimes I get this bug up my ass and decide to look up words I know. Well, in this case, thought I knew.

I was contemplating a blog post on the perks of writing when I looked up the word “perks” and saw it meant something totally different. Well, not totally different. I knew the meaning of the verb. I wanted the noun. There was no noun meaning listed. So of course, that meant I’d been misspelling it all this time.

I hate it when a word I use seems like it should be spelled one way, when in fact it’s completely different!

Problem with dictionaries is that they don’t tell you how to go about spelling a word. I always hated when I asked how to spell a word only to be told to look it up. Well, how can you look it up if you don’t know how it’s spelled? Dictionaries work when you know how to spell the word, but you want to know what the word MEANS!

In this case, dictionary.com came in handy and I stumbled across the word “perquisite”. It had the meaning I was looking for. If you shortened (abbreviated) it, the q can have a sound like a k.

So…is it perq? I mean, who says perquisite? Not me!

Oh – and what perk/perq in writing was I going to blog about? Rejections.

You see, I got a rejection today. Not from a query. From a job application (and an old one at that, since I applied at the same time as I had for my current place of employment). In the past, the rejection would have stung and put me in a funk for hours (because this was from a company I really wanted to work at). As I told my husband, I must be getting immune to those kinds of things and considered it a perk of writing (well, actually a perk from submitting).

He knew what I meant. I’m afraid if I spelled it the other way, he wouldn’t have. So, how do you spell “perk” when you want the meaning of perquisite? This curious mind wants to know.


Jennette Marie Powell said...

LOL who knew? I've never heard of perquisite before either! In fact, when your blog title first showed up in my RSS reader, I read it as "Prerequisites." Although, when I looked it up (because I was curious too, you know), it did list "perk" as the shortened form of "perquisite." And noted that it's been in use in this form since about 1815-1825. So thanks to you, I learned something today too. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Well, at least your list showed "perk" as the shortened form. Dictionary.com didn't (and I'm not at home to check the big, old, book we have). So at least I know I was right in using "perk"! It would have been nice if that word showed up when searched, though!

Maria Zannini said...

I had no idea perk was a diminutive of perquisite.

I've always spelled it perk.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Maria - As my daughter kindly pointed out, if I had bothered to scroll down to the bottom of the screen when I was on the word "perk", I would have seen the meaning I was looking for (so it's nice to know I hadn't misspelled it all this time). But then I wouldn't have had anything to blog about (and teach other people a new word!). Thanks for stopping by.