Hi, Folks! Marcia again. Hope you guys are in the mood for another Why Write Wrong post, because I’ve got one that’s short and sweet, and I can’t wait to share. Some of you will be familiar with the difference between today’s two words, but for those who aren’t, I hope this will be of help. (And will make you smile along the way.)




Let’s get to it, shall we? Maybe some of you have heard or read something like this now and then: “It was such a sad thing. Downright heart-rendering.” 


Look or sound familiar? Here’s the deal. Unless you are using a very strange recipe for lard, hearts are not rendered. Honest.  The correct phrase is actually “heart-rending.” 

Let’s take a closer look, just so you know I’m not making this stuff up. 😀

REND (Past tense: RENT)

  1. Tear (something) into two or more pieces.
  2. Cause great emotional pain to a person … or to their heart.


If someone has suffered painful tragedy, their heart has been rent (torn apart), figuratively. More commonly, they are said to have suffered “heart-rending” pain.

Example 2: In some cultures, mourners may rend their garments lamenting a death.




  • To present or submit accounts, etc, for payment, approval, or action: The electrician rendered an invoice for the work he completed on the remodeling job.
  • To give or provide aid, charity, a service, etc: The rescue worker rendered first aid at the scene of the accident.
  • To show obedience, as due or expected: The knight rendered his obedience to the king.
  • To give or exchange, as by way of return or requital: to render blow for blow.
  • 5. A cooking Technique:Rendering the fat.” (And this is the one that always springs to my mind when I hear someone mistakenly say heart-rendering. 😯  )

Rendering is what happens when fat is cooked slowly over low heat and becomes a liquid, rather than crisping up. We call rendered fat “lard,” and it is almost always made from pig fat, with nary a heart involved. 



In times gone by, people rendered lard by cooking it in a cast-iron kettle over a slow fire. It was used in frying and baking and for flavoring foods, but went out of favor when Crisco came along. 



So now, hopefully you will never get mixed up and decide to make lard from someone’s heart. I mean, that would be truly painful and … well … icky.


On that note, I’ll turn the floor over to you guys. Have you ever made this error?  If so, I hope this little post has been helpful. If not, YAY, you, because a lot of folks get these words mixed up fairly often. Let us know what you think below. As always, inquiring minds wanna know.

Thanks so much for stopping by SE today! Hope you’ll check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to see what the rest of the gang will be talking about. And I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with something else up my sleeve. But now it’s time for you to head out and write with happy (and totally un-rendered) hearts! Those are definitely the very best kind.

I am not an English teacher, grammarian, or expert on all matters of this nature. I don’t even play one on TV! But I promise I have consulted with those in the know before posting anything in this series.

(All images above were either created by me, used with permission,
or obtained from

56 thoughts on “#WhyWriteWrong?

    • Laughing is good, Michele! 😀 And I can’t even tell you how many times I heard this said during the spring, as the pandemic tragedy grew. Even doctors and other professionals said it. GAH. I simply HAD to share it, just in case any folks following SE might have had some confusion on it. Glad to know you haven’t done so. Yay, you! 😀 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yay for you, Sue, but I’m not surprised. I just hope some folks who have used it before will be happy to know the right way to get the point across. And if you don’t want to go crazy, don’t listen too hard at interviews on tv. If the subject is sad, like the pandemic, this pops up over and over. Eeep.

      Thanks for stopping by though, and I’m glad it gave you a giggle! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just as long as you’re sure to think of that as WRONG, Denise. 😀 We don’t want any hearts rendered, after all. It’s bad enough having them rent! 😀 And when you see or hear someone using the heart with the word rendered, cover your ears. I mean, just imagine that big, ol’ cast iron kettle. Eeeep. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by today! Always good to see you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, Marcia! These are words I’m familiar with. I’ve used the term heartrending in some of my stories, probably several. It’s a descriptive/emotional word I like to use when a scene calls for it.

    As for rendering, in Myth and Magic, I had an old rendering plant which was located at the far end of town because of the smell. It had been converted to other uses during the period my book was set, But can you imagine the stench in summer? Eek!

    These are always great posts, informative and entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Mae. I’m glad you enjoy the series. And yay, you, for knowing the difference between these two. After weeks of hearing “heart-rendering” on tv pandemic interviews, I decided I just had to cover it. I’ve read it used incorrectly, too, but the misuse during in-person interviews, even with the professionals, was getting to be absurd.

      I’ve got Myth & Magic on my Kindle (AND on my shelves, thanks!) and am looking forward to reading it. Especially now that I can expect a rendering plant to feature in it, and correctly, at that. 😀 (NO hearts allowed in the processing areas!!!!) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! I didn’t even realize you hadn’t read Myth & Magic. Would you believe it was featured in my local library’s recent newsletter as a staff pick? I was so honored.

        I didn’t realize that was happening with pandemic interviews. Professionals should definitely know the difference!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I SHOULD have read M&M long ago, Mae, but somehow didn’t. 😦 However, I do aim to rectify that. I’m working on a plan to make each day at least 4 hours longer, so I can read many more books than I’m able to currently. 😀 And congratulations on having it featured at your library. That’s fantastic!

        As for pandemic interviews and coverage, I’ve stopped watching them, so I GUESS it’s possible someone has clued some of these folks in by now. (Not likely, but definitely possible! 😀 )

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, now that you are aware of it, your eye will catch it. Or you’ll hear it in a tv interview about the ongoing pandemic. (Will it ever become the OFFGOING pandemic, I wonder?) 😀 Thanks for stopping by today, Judi! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thankfully I’ve never come across this mistake, and I can’t recall ever having made it. I can see how some people can make the mistake though. And I can see these types of mistakes sneaking past a spell checker. That’s one reason I don’t trust spell checkers; they will tell you that a word is spelled right or wrong but don’t tell you if you’ve used the right word or not.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly, Jeanne. Spell checker cannot be trusted! It’s helpful, but it’s best to know you can’t rely on it. 🙂 I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this one lately, on tv, from people (some professionals) talking about the current pandemic. I’ve seen it, too, though more frequently in newspaper articles than in books, which are usually edited better. Thanks for stopping by this morning! Always good to see you! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hahahahahahaha. And that’s why I come up with these, Trish. Hopefully, many of them will stick with folks after they’ve read them here. BUT, you are welcome to recognize the correct form as being totally lard-free. 😀 Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • If you’ve listened to a single interview on the pandemic, you’ve probably heard it. Medical professionals, tv interviewers, and politicians have used it wrong on air, and I always wonder how many others were snorting away with laughter, like I was. 😀 It’s gotta stop, I tell ya! Those hearts must NOT be rendered! 😀

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: #WhyWriteWrong? | Story Empire | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  4. I’ve encountered this incorrect usage and love that you’ve shown it here. I’ve never actually looked at what the past tense form is for rending … rent … mmm, more scope for fun with that one, I think! Thanks for a fun and informative post, Marcia 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Harmony. After hearing it a kajillion times during all the pandemic coverage on tv, I couldn’t stand NOT to post about it. (After all, many people assume what they hear on tv to be correct, but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic! 😀 ) Yes, rend/rending/rent is interesting. Last night, one of my cats managed to rend a nice big hole in a new garment I was wearing. It is now rent. Urk. 😀 I guess he was making my point for me. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve seen it fairly often, and I heard it for weeks and weeks during the early pandemic coverage. Everyone and his brother, professionals and regular ol’ folks on the street, were using it to describe the shock of what was happening around them. No way to ignore that one. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Now that I’ve made you aware of this blooper (which I heard over and over in interviews all spring, thanks to the pandemic being talked about non-stop) you’ll hear or see it, I’ll betcha. But be careful. As Jessica says above, it could make you spew your breakfast cereal across the table. Or at least, like me, your Earl Grey tea. 😀 Thanks for stopping by today, Jaye. It’s always good to see you. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

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