A wrong-word error occurs when a student misuses a
word, apparently because s/he does not fully understand the meaning
of that word:
Lincoln once quoted, "I am in favor of animal rights as
well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human
being" (qtd. in Achor 109).
Abraham Lincoln is credited with
above, but saying "Abraham Lincoln once quoted . . . " implies that
Lincoln merely repeated what someone else had already said.
There are several ways to improve the passage, including:
Abraham Lincoln once
stated, "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human
rights. . . ."
Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying, "I am in favor
of animal rights as well as human rights. . . ."
Although we classify homophone
errors--e.g.: site for
misspellings, we classify "near homophones" as wrong-word errors:
A little cold
or flu could turn into a serious case of ammonia.
He had been
given a slow-acting poison, and the only antic dote was
in the safe beside him.
Since a listener is apt to notice
when a speaker says ammonia instead of pneumonia or
antic dote and antidote, these particular errors seem to
be wrong-word errors rather than misspellings.