Peddling that pallet

The palate is smaller than a palette. Well, usually, anyway. Some of us have big mouths, or possibly just favour tiny art equipment. A pallet is bigger than the other two. People make coffee tables out of them.

I make many mistakes, and often, but recently I have had to grind my teeth (close to the palate) when seeing these words used freely to mean any of the three possibles. Do authors have problems with their palettes, or is it the editors?

Some years ago I tried to be helpful, so wrote to one of the large publishing houses to suggest that when they – inevitably – came to reprinting the rather successful book I had just read, they might want to change that palate into a palette. If only to continue teaching young readers what’s correct.

As thanks for my efforts they sent me a copy of another bestselling novel they published. I suppose they took me to be 14…

Of the three words, I never use a palette. Physically, I mean. My palate is in daily use, and I can’t help but quite fancy a weather-beaten pallet – on wheels – on which to rest my mug of tea and current book. But that may well remain a dream.

And dreams are good. We don’t have to have everything. Besides, I strongly suspect pallets are too large for our smaller size house. (Doesn’t prevent me looking hopefully round the beach to see if one has happened to wash up and is waiting to be adopted by me.)

Then there is the peddling. Of bikes. I actually don’t believe I have come across any fictional bikes being pedalled. So on the basis that if common use of something continues for long enough, it becomes the norm, I guess that peddled bikes will soon be the ones ridden, and not those sold.

Apologies for being a grumpy old so-and-so. I’m a profligate complainer, I am.

(I contemplated borrowing an image of a palette for illustration purposes here. I found a worrying number of pallets…)

(And I have proof read this post more than most, and found umpteen mistakes. Did I catch all of them?)

4 responses to “Peddling that pallet

  1. You can see how people might be confused, though.

  2. Yes. I usually stop and check when I realise I’m up against one of those kinds of words. I think it’s OK for an author to get it wrong. After all, their expertise is in weaving yarns, not spelling and grammar. The editors on the other hand…

  3. I have so many different palettes. But I can’t spell.

  4. Pingback: Peddle? I don’t think so. | Bookwitch

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