Professional Style

Slew vs. Slough

June 2015
Spot the Error

In Santa Barbara, there’s a section of land where the ocean actually traverses the beach and leads to a little swampy area. Locals call that little swamp the Goleta Slew.

When read aloud, the “beach” sentences above sound correct. However, the word slew is not correct. The appropriate word is slough (pronounced SLOO or SLOU or even SLUF when used to mean to shed or cast off).

A slough is an area of soft muddy ground, an inlet on a river, or a backwater. The more common word, slew, is either the past tense of slay or a large number, as in a slew of drunken revelers played in the slough.

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