VERSUS waxes poetic (as VERSES) in newsletter article.

 Here is a usage Glitch I have not seen before. The sentence appears in a newsletter article about making ethical choices:

There are five main causes of unethical verses ethical choices: pride, power, pressure, pleasure, and priorities.

Whoops! VERSES are lines of poetry or numbered subdivisions of chapters in the Bible. VERSUS is a preposition that sets up an alternative or contrast, which is what the writer needs in this sentence–a contrast between unethical and ethical choices.  The sentence should read this way:

There are five main causes of unethical versus ethical choices: pride, power, pressure, pleasure, and priorities.

PLEASE NOTE that your spelling checker would not catch this error because both VERSUS and VERSES are words.

 

I do like the message of this sentence and the quotation from businessman, author, and philanthropist W. Clement Stone that appears at the end of the article:

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.

What a world this would be if everyone kept these keys on their ring!


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4 Responses to “VERSUS waxes poetic (as VERSES) in newsletter article.”

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