If ‘aide’ is on the chopping block, will the ‘e’ go first?

A single “e” can make a big difference.

In the case of “aid,” an “e” personifies, turning “assistance” into “assistant.”

Consider: The point of the story that accompanied this headline is that state financing for schools is very likely going to be cut.

So if school aid (financial assistance) is cut, no doubt many districts will be forced to cut aides (classroom or administrative assistants).

What the headline suggests is that some poor assistant’s neck is on the line, sort of like a Thanksgiving turkey.

The real turkey is the headline.

Aide always means a person. Aid, by the dictionary definition, can mean either a person or help of some kind. Most stylebooks, including AP, make clear distinctions between the two words to avoid confusion.

So unless you are writing about a person, leave the “e” on the chopping block. Doing that will aid reader comprehension but will also keep you from looking like a turkey.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...