Wrong Word Wednesday #19

Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television

Draught / Draft

 

As a writer, you need to know the difference between these two… depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on. In American English, there is no distinction – a draught is a draft and a draft is a draft. This is purely one of those differences that exist in British English so if you are an Antipodean, a Canadian or speak a version of colonial English that maintained its British roots a little longer then you do need to know the difference.

Draft – A version of something (particularly written). I’m on the eighth draft of my novel.

Draught – A current or movement of a gas or liquid. You would use this when you can feel air coming in under your door from the outside. You’d put something down to “eliminate the draught”, you’d buy a “draught excluder”. For the beer drinker, you drink “draught” rather than bottled ale. When you “down” a pint of beer, you are drinking it on one “draught”.

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4 thoughts on “Wrong Word Wednesday #19

  1. Oh, dear. I’ve just discovered that word: ‘draught’. Before my attempt to find a job in New Zealand, I had never heard of the word. (Even now my Google spell check says it is wrong wrong wrong!). But you know how I’ve seen it? Draughtsperson/Draughtsman (for, I presumed, draftsperson/draftsman – which is common here in the US). Go figure.

    1. I keep saying it: two countries firmly divided by a common language! I wonder if anybody knows why Canada and Oz and NZ retain the British spellings but the USA doesn’t? Any linguists out there want to explain why?

      1. Oh, the board game you call “checkers” we call “draughts” – and it is spelt (not spelled… ha ha, our wonderful language!) that way too.

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