Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm guilty, you may be too



For more useful nuggets go to the get it in writing blog. thats where this came from:

Top 20 Words You Use in Speech or Copywriting That Make You Look Stupid When You Misuse Them.

adverse/averse
"Adverse" means unfavorable. "Averse" means reluctant.


accept/except
"Accept" means to to receive with consent."Except" means With the exclusion of.


affect/effect
"To affect" means to influence, change or produce an effect "To effect" means to accomplish, complete, cause, make possible or carry out. If you're looking for a noun, you're probably looking for "effect." If you're using a verb, you're safest with "affect."


allude/refer
"To allude" means to speak of without mentioning. "To refer" means to speak of directly.


all right
not alright


allusion/illusion
An "allusion" is an indirect reference. An "illusion" is a false impression or image.


around/about
"Around" should refer to a physical proximity or surrounding (I'll look for you around the front of Baker Hall). "About" indicates an approximation (Let's have lunch about 11:30 a.m.).


between/among
Use "between" to show a relationship between two objects only.Use "among" when it's more than two.


complement/compliment
"Complement" is something that supplements. "Compliment" is praise or the expression of courtesy.


farther/further
"Farther" refers to physical distance. "Further" refers to an extension of time or degree.


historic/historical
"Historic" means important. "Historical" refers to any event in the past.


imply/infer
"Imply" means to suggest or indicate indirectly. To "infer" is to conclude or decide from something known or assumed.


insure/ensure
"Insure" means to establish a contract for insurance of some type. "Ensure" means to guarantee.

General rule? Use "ensure."


irregardless/regardless
The word is "regardless." "Irregardless"? No such word.


literally/figuratively
"Literally" means in an exact sense. "Figuratively" means in a comparative sense.


lose/loose
"lose" means to To fail to win, or misplace. "loose" means Not fastened, restrained, or contained.


peddle/pedal
To "peddle" is to sell. To "pedal" is to use pedals, as on a bicycle.


principal/principle
"Principal" as a noun is a chief person or thing; as an adjective, it means first in importance. "Principle" is a noun meaning a fundamental truth, doctrine or law; a guiding rule or code of conduct; a method of operation.


toward/towards
"Toward" is correct. "Towards" is not.


who/whom
We rarely see the word "whom" in writing. But if your sentence has an objective clause referring to a person or animal with a proper name, you're being ungrammatical if you don't use whom.

The word "who" substitutes for subjective pronouns‹he, she or they; "whom" must be used in the sense of him, her or them. If you don't want to use "whom," restructure your sentence. Don't just stick in "who" when it is incorrect.


-wise
Do not use this suffix to coin words like "weatherwise."