Today's Non Sequitur:
Try not to call these cool shoreline creatures "starfish." Sea stars aren't fish, so the proper name is "sea star." (Similarly, call them jellies, not jellyfish.)
And then there's Paul Krugman's "Questions About Student Writing", 5/21/2014:
1. How can we incentivize students to stop using “impact” as a verb?
2. How can we impact their writing in a way that stops them from using the word “incentivize”?
3. Can we make it a principal principle of writing that “principle” and “principal” mean different things, and you have to know which is which?
That is all.
PK's three points are interestingly different. In a hundred years, the animus against "incentivize" will seems as puzzling as Richard Grant White's 1870 assertion that jeopardize is "a foolish and intolerable word", or Edwin Newman's 1976 strong objections to prioritize, personalize, traumatize, and hospitalize. (For historical perspective, back to 1591, see "Centuries of disgust and horror?", 3/16/2009.)
Similarly, future generations will be as puzzled by concern about "impact" as a verb as we are today about the The Nation's 1917 objection to the use of function as a verb, or urge as a noun, as an "inexcusable irregularity of style". (For details, see "In this day of slack style…", 9/2/2012.)
But I predict that a hundred years from now, writers (and not just student writers) will still commonly confuse the spelling of "principle" and "principal", although the official story about which is which will not have changed. English spelling is established by top-down conventions that are difficult to change, whereas word usage is established by, well, word usage.