Professional Style

Trooper vs. Trouper

August 2012
Spot the Error

Twelve-year-old Tommy is such a little trooper; he mowed the lawn, swept the garage, and washed the car. His father is so proud of him.

If you have a preteen doing that much work, congratulations! You should be proud. But, for the record, your child is not a trooper … he (or she) is a trouper.

Granted, in conversation, listeners don’t know the difference because the words sound the same; but, if you use trooper or trouper in written communications, you’ll want to select the appropriate word, so here goes …

A trooper is someone in the military or on a state police force. A trouper (originating from actors in a troupe) is a loyal, dependable worker or an enthusiastic participant in an undertaking. Therefore, in the “chores” sentence above, the appropriate word is trouper.

Use these words correctly and you can consider yourself a grammatical trouper.

~ Thank you, Susan P., for your topic suggestion.

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