Verses vs. Versus
Although they are pronounced nearly the same, these two words are completely different parts of speech.
The word “versus” is a Latin-based preposition that means “against” or “in contrast to.”
The word “verses” is a noun, the plural of “verse,” which is a line of a poem, a stanza of a song, or a numbered part of a Bible chapter.
Here’s a bad example I saw today:
Trip sheets are used by the driller to track hole fill verses metal displacement.
If you are comparing two things, use versus, not verses – unless, of course, you are Shakespeare:
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”
According to the SPE Style Guide, you may abbreviate versus as vs., which is what I do often in my Writing Style Tip of the Day titles (see above).
Verily, I think this is one of my best titles ever.
Welcome to the 49 new subscribers in Bogota, Colombia!
I have a nice gift for you to bring you up to speed quickly.
One of the local Peanut Gallery members, Don here in the Houston office, sent me a nice link to a whole bunch of words that are mistaken for each other:
If I had written it, I would have used “Affect vs. Effect” instead of “Affect and Effect.”
You might want to bookmark this website if you struggle with any of these pairs of similar words.
Thanks for sharing, Don.
And thanks to Dale Walker for promoting my writing tips in South America.
Profound Quote of the Day:
“I have not the slightest pretension to call my verses poetry; I write now and then for no other purpose than to relieve depression or to improve my English.”
– Alfred Nobel, Swedish scientist who invented dynamite (the Nobel Prize is named after him) 1833-1896