Pronunciation [uh-vur]
-verb (used with object), a-verred, a-ver-ring
1. to assert or affirm with confidence; declare in a positive or peremptoy manner.
2. Law. to allege as a fact.

Last week I took off work early to go to my daughter's program at school. While I was gone that afternoon, someone applied for a scholarship program using an application form I created. Without going into too much detail, because, you know, YOU DON'T CARE and stuff, this person was ineligible for the scholarship. But because everyone wanted to make sure this person had nothing to complain about when the application was rejected, my colleagues took a close look at the application she submitted. That's when they saw this text at the bottom of the application form:

"By submitting this electronic application form, I aver that I am a current member in good standing and meet all the eligibility requirements for the program."

The person was not a member. That was the only problem. But instead what my office got stuck on was the word "aver" in the text of the application form. I heard the story second hand several days later, but I can imagine this is pretty true to how the conversation went:

"What's that?"


"A-ver?" *Continually pronouncing the word a-ver instead of it's proper pronunciation: a-ver. In fact, they still pronounce it that way.*

"I don't know."

"It must be a typo."

"Well what word do you think it's supposed to really be?"

"I don't know."

"Maybe have?"

"That doesn't make sense."

"Well, we don't want to reject the application form without an explanation for this word. What if the person thinks it meant membership wasn't required? How do we explain that?"

"Well, it's pretty clear even without that section that membership is a requirement."

"Well, we'd better apologize for the typo, just to be safe."

"But no one's complaining about the typo."

"Just the same, we need to figure out what the text should be and explain it was an honest error."

At this point in time, emails are sent, people are questioned about how this got by everyone who edited the document, and apologies are made for the typo that no one noticed. I, however, still am not in on the conversation because I am getting a potted plant handed to me and my likeness superimposed on the kindergarten wall at that moment.

"Well, let me call my lawyer husband and see what he thinks we should do."

"Do you want to call your lawyer husband and ask too?"

"Maybe I'll do that."

Phone call to Lawyer Husband is made; colleague reads the text to him.

"So I just need to know what word it should be instead of aver."

Lawyer Husband: "That's the word."

"I know, but what should it have been?"

LH: "No. That's what it should have been. That's the word."

"But what's the correct spelling?"

LH: "It's spelled correctly because That's. The. Correct. Word." *LH then launches into a diatribe about the history and etymology of the word as well as it's use in legal speak, which no one cares about but listens to politely because they've just bothered him at work and owe him the courtesy*

I'm not completely sure how long this went on. Here's the thing. When someone thought to finally tell me about the whole exchange it a week later, my response was "Oh. I wrote the word aver in that section because that was the word I meant to write. Did no one think of looking it up in, oh I don't know, A DICTIONARY? Like maybe the one sitting on that desk right there? And by the way, it's pronounced a-ver."

Colleague: "Well after I talked to my Lawyer Husband, I Googled it. Turns out it's a real word. Who knew?"

Me: "Me! I knew! That's why I wrote it!"

And I don't even have a lawyer husband.