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Verbs, Word comparisons

Note 84 – To peddle and to pedal

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 84, then please read on…

Richard Bell writes monthly for Writing magazine and I often read his ‘Red Editing Pen’ section, where he writes three sentences which require editing.  One of the sentences on P37 in January 2009 copy of Writing Magazine reads like this:

“Although she peddled as fast as she could she could never manage to cycle at more that ten miles an hour”

Can you spot the mistake?  At a glance, I thought that there was just a comma missing after the first ‘could’ in the sentence, but when I looked at the suggested solutions, I realised that I hadn’t looked at the word peddled properly.  The correct spelling should have been pedalled.  Here are the definitions of the two verbs (taken from the Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus):

To peddle – to go around selling goods

To pedal – to propel bicycle [or other vehicle] by using its pedals

As Richard Bell mentions, the sentence could mean that she is peddling as fast as she could… i.e. going around selling as fast as she could, but that wasn’t the meaning of the sentence in this case.

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog.  I’ve had a long day, so must go to sleep now.

Until tomorrow…


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Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Writing Magazine, January 2009 copy (UK)

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus

About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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