Edit This Grammar Lesson: Bail vs. Bale
Welcome to another Edit This® grammar lesson. In today's blog, let's discuss the difference between Bail vs. Bale. Do you know when to use each one?
Most of you might be saying, "Why, yes, I do!" But for others, it's not that easy – even for a veteran writer and editor like myself. For example, I was editing a few articles at the Denton Record-Chronicle when I came across this sentence: "I’d probably jump on hay bails because that was really hard for me to do when I was little."
After reading it, I turned to someone and asked, "Is that supposed to be bails or bales?"
"I have no clue," another writer said while staring at the computer monitor.
Naturally, I turned to Google and found that I was right. It should be "hay bales."
Bail and Bale are perfect examples of homophones – words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings – and they trip more people up than you think. In today's post, I'll be going over each of them to clear up any lingering confusion.
Bail has several meanings. It is typically used when referring to the amount of money needed to release someone from jail or custody. Bail also means to run away from a difficult situation, help someone out of a tough situation, or to describe the act of removing water.
* We need $1,000 to bail Mark out of jail.
* He always bails when things get tough.
* Help me bail out this boat before it sinks.
Bale is always used when writing about something that is bundled or packed together.
* I like jumping on hay bales.
* A bale of hay rolled off the truck.
* He picked up that bale with ease.
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It's fun to tease friends on Facebook for grammar mistakes or point out errors in other written copy. But any spelling or grammar error in business writing – brochures, website copy, blog posts, press releases, newsletters, etc. – wreak havoc on your company's image.
In fact, studies consistently show that when choosing between two companies, customers prefer the one with clear and error-free written communication.
We hope you enjoyed today's blog on Bail vs. Bale. If you're interested in having Edit This handle your company's content writing and editing needs, give us a call today! We can write copy from scratch or spruce up what you've already written. When it comes to grammar, everyone could use an extra set of eyes.
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.