Decor? Decorum? There IS a Difference.

A friend in Winston-Salem sent me a clipping last week from Richard Creed’s column in the local newspaper there. Creed is a retired Winston-Salem Journal editor and writes about grammar and usage. http://www,richcreed@triad.rr.com

One of Creed’s readers had seen this statement about cell phone intrusiveness in USA Today: “Aside from the noisy interruption of musical ring tones, the technology poses new challenges for judges, who must maintain courtroom decor and consider other legal issues in a world where Facebook, Twitter and cameras are now at the fingertips of many cell phone users.”

Whoops! Creed’s reader spotted the incorrect use of DECOR (a decorative treatment) where DECORUM (proper behavior) should have been used. The reader said, “I pictured a judge frantically comparing paint swatches and fabric samples while attempting to render judgments over a cacophony of cell phone chimes.”

The sentence should have read as follows:

“Aside from the noisy interruption of musical ring tones, the technology poses new challenges for judges, who must maintain courtroom decorum and consider other legal issues in a world where Facebook, Twitter and cameras are now at the fingertips of many cell phone users.”

Be careful with your choice of words so that people remember your MESSAGE, not your poor choice of words.


5 Responses to “Decor? Decorum? There IS a Difference.”

  1. Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you for the interest, and yes, I am considering putting together an ebook about the most common Grammar Glitches I’ve come across. I am curious, though, about why a blog about bass fishing tips would want to share information from a grammar blog. Do you have another blog I haven’t seen.

  3. Astrid says:

    Thanks for some other wonderful article. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in
    such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  4. BoredWon says:

    Glad I checked. I thought this was the difference between the two words, however, in writing an article where I was about to include one or the other, I began to second guess myself. Great website!

  5. admin says:

    Thank you for taking time to let me know it was helpful. It is always great to confirm that you had the correct answer in the first place! Good luck with your work.

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