Friday, June 05, 2009

Prone to error

Too often I read stories--especially various forms of crime fiction--in which a person or a body is described as "prone," and yet the context makes it clear that the person or body is actually "supine."

It frustrates the bejesus out of me.

Direct from the dictionary definitions:

Prone = "lying face downward"

Supine = "lying on the back, face or front upward"

I hope you're not prone ("having a natural inclination or tendency to something") to making this error.


Brian Evankovich said...

As a writer who also is an avid rifle shooter, the "prone" position is on the belly, so I can at least say that's one error I've never made. It's probably the only error I haven't made. :) --Brian

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I recently saw something from an editor in one of the many writer advice blogs saying that "prone" menat either way on the floor or ground. It doesn't. But, I figure if one editor thinks so, there are more that also think so, and that might explain why I see it more and more.

Being prone or supine is one thing but it does make getting back up hell in my case.