Presentation on theme: "20 Tricky Word Usages “It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context."— Presentation transcript:
20 Tricky Word Usages “It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.” ~Carl Sagan ( )
all ready vs. already all ready – pronoun (all) + adjective modifier (ready) They were all ready to go dancing. already – an adverb denoting time The pie was already baked.
all together vs. altogether all together – gathered in a group The Write Place staff were all together suffering through another PowerPoint. Altogether – adverb meaning “completely” The PowerPoint presentation was altogether mind-numbing.
allude vs. elude allude – make a quick reference to In demonstrating the Write Place culture, he alluded to the finger puppets in the Bistro. Elude – to evade or avoid “I eluded Carol by hiding in the bathroom,” said Jake.
alternately vs. alternatively alternately – adverb denoting time, meaning “by turns” When making mayonnaise, add oil and lemon juice alternately. Alternatively – adverb denoting “by way of an alternative” You can create a handout or, alternatively, you can wash the coffee cups.
amoral vs. immoral amoral – an amoral person, action, or thing is one for which the whole concept of morality is foreign or irrelevant The sociopathic murderer is amoral. OR A devastating hurricane is amoral. immoral – doesn’t measure up to cultural standards of morality Unmarried women who had children used to be thought of as immoral. Or Cutting down the 200 year-old oak in the center of town is an immoral action.
angry at vs angry with angry at – pertains to situations I am angry at the way I was treated at the Dept. of Public Safety. angry with – pertains to people I am angry with my younger sister for plagiarizing my paper.
ante- vs. anti- ante – before An antecedent is the noun which comes before the pronoun that represents it. For example; John had better put the beer back in the cooler, if he wants it to stay cold. anti against, contrary to I use anti-freeze in my car in the winter.
ascent vs. assent ascent – climb It was a steep ascent to the top of Enger Tower Assent – agree or agreement (either verb or noun) She will assent to re-funding the Write Place OR She gave her assent when asked to re- fund the Write Place.
censor vs. censure censor – to cut out or prevent something offensive from appearing The government censored parts of the soldiers’ letters to keep information about military action out of the hands of the enemy. censure – to condemn The Governor was censured for using public funds to help build his vacation home.
complacent vs. complaisant vs. compliant complacent – self-satisfied His complacency in the middle of the mess he created caused him to be defeated in the last election. complaisant – doing what one can to please others Chris was consistently complaisant in his dealings with clients at the reception desk. compliant – doing what your are told whether it pleases you or not She was compliant when asked to re-do the report, even though she fumed inside.
continual vs. continuous continual – keeps coming back, keeps repeating I get so frustrated at the continual auto-format generated typos in my Facebook posts. continuous – never goes away, goes on and on Interstate90 is a continuous, straight and boring route across South Dakota, rarely broken by a hill or curve.
differ from vs. differ with differ from – to be different from The last tutorial greatly differed from this one. differ with – to disagree I differed with my father over the value of his old Ford Fairlane.
discreet vs. discrete discreet – to be tactful and to keep secrets Julie was discreet when her roommate’s boss called to ask why she didn’t come to work. Discrete - to be separate from Linguistics and rhetoric are discrete disciplines.
disinterested vs. uninterested disinterested – impartial, no vested interest She was a disinterested observer, which made her analysis credible. Uninterested – not interested The client acted as though he was uninterested in his own essay.
farther vs. further farther – used when referring to physical space It is farther to Las Vegas than to Missoula. further – other non-physical distance I want you to take that argument further. Push the envelope.
flaunt vs. flout flaunt – to make a show of He flaunted his wealth by parking his Lamborghini right in front of the Write Place. Flout – to scoff at or mock The students flout the noise ordinance on the south side every weekend.
incredible vs. incredulous incredible – unbelievable, fantastic The Minnesota Lynx have been incredible this season. incredulous – unbelieving, doubting When I told her I’d never had a speeding ticket, she looked at me incredulously.
ingenious vs. ingenuous ingenious – clever, inventive Toni Morrison’s plot lines are ingenious as well as meticulously crafted. ingenuous – innocent Even though he was guilty as sin, his ingenuous expression convinced others he had nothing to do with the mess.
temerity vs. timidity temerity – foolhardy boldness or chance- taking His temerity was once again demonstrated when he dove off the cliff without checking to see how deep the water was. timidity – fearfully cautious The great Dane’s timidity when faced with the aggressive toy poodle was hysterically funny.