Wrong Word Wednesday #51

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.

Meter / Metre

Some of these vary depending on which country you live in. This is one of those (much like draft / draught from a while ago) where the variation is distinctly whether you use British terms and spellings as opposed to American terms and spellings. If you are American, you will use the first word in both contexts. However, being on the other side of the Atlantic, those words are different.

Meter – A device used to measure consumption of a utility. Typically water, electricity or oil if your home is fuelled that way.

Metre – a unit of measurement roughly equal to three feet and three inches

Examples:

“Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world over 100 metres”

“We have to be careful about switching electrical devices off over night from now on. We’re on a meter now.”

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