Being someone who stocks things is good. Being someone who stocks or stalks people is bad. Being someone who stalks things could go either way—but I’m guessing there has to be a story there.
We can talk about corn stalks or agricultural stocks on the New York Stock Exchange. We can talk about stockings made of silk or a stalking horse, but whichever form you intend, make sure you’re spelling it right. Neither farmers, not investors do well when they’re careless.
- “Stocking,” as a verb, can mean to keep a bunch of something (like wood in the wintertime) or to supply (like a grocer filling the shelves), among other definitions.
- “Stalking,” as a verb, can mean to pursue obsessively, to walk stiffly, or to move forward stealthily. (Meanwhile isn’t “stealthily” just a fun word to say. It doesn’t roll off the tongue at all. I just made you say it out loud, didn’t I?)
And while making things clear:
- A “stalk” can refer to the main supporting stem of a plant, a non-plant related support, or the act of the “stalking” movement discussed above.
- A “stock” can refer to a supply or inventory, funds invested or available for investment or trading, a liquid base for a soup or gravy, and a surprising number of other things.
Of course, there is a difference between stocking up and hoarding (or hoarding hordes? Yikes!), but that’s for another conversation. Well, actually, it’s in Get a Grip on Your Grammar if you really want to know.
Do you ever catch yourself pausing over the correct spelling of something? Maybe you need to take stock of the situation. (Ooh, did you know that correct spelling?) We all do from time to time. If you have a suggestion for a future writing tip, please let me know! Contact me today.
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