Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 21 01:09:15 UTC 2005

I've had several (mostly ill-educated) students who found it difficult or impossible to tell the difference between "idea" and "ideal."  They'd spell both as "ideal" - none went the other way.

Here's a good quote from    (2000)

"John Adams said 'Hey, guys, let's write a Declaration of Independence.' 'Neat ideal,' said John Hancock."What's a Declaration of Independence?"

Other examples as far back as 1991 are easily found by Googling "neat ideal."  Other collocations would turn up more, I'm sure.

The students I'm thinking of even *said* "ideal" for "idea." Anybody else notice this?


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