Garblog's Pages

Friday, June 8, 2012

16 words that may not mean what you think they mean | Laura Hale Brockway, The Plain Language Programme

Here's a useful set of words, as reminders to yourself -- as some were for me -- and as words to watch for in work you're editing -- as some also were for me.

Brockway comments on each of these words:

1. Comprise (often confused with compose)

2. Forgo (often confused with forego)

3. Imply (often used incorrectly for infer)

4. Less (often confused with fewer)

5. Literally (different from figuratively)

6. Poisonous (often confused with venomous)

7. Precision (often confused with accuracy)

8. Unique (different from unusual and rare)
9. Averse (often confused with adverse)

10. Bemuse (sometimes confused with amuse)

11. Decimate (precise meaning different from kill, remove, reduce)

12. Ensure (often confused with insure)

13. Epic

14. Facetious (sometimes confused with sarcastic)

15. Nonplussed (often confused with calm, relaxed)

16. Verbiage (sometimes confused with wording, content, language

For more articles and websites on language, check out Garbl's Word Links. It's an annotated directory of websites that can help you discover, understand and use (or avoid) Latin and Greek derivations, misused words, unusual words, word origins, new words and slang. You'll also find separate sections below on spelling and vocabulary.

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