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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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My website: (includes the introduction to my book)

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. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer


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