This week's post is actually writing-related, and I've been building it (very) slowly over the course of the last couple of months. So, why delay any longer? Here we go with
13 Frequently Misused/Confused Words
To be honest, this is one which almost breaks my heart. Thanks to Hallmark and their decision to put a bit of wordplay on cards meant for high school and college graduates, we now have a great many people who think "Congraduations" is how we congratulate people on any given accomplishment.
Please stop doing this. I will congratulate you for it. Otherwise...
I would like to blame David Gilmour for this, in part, thanks to the track called "Deafinitely" on his 1978 solo album. Unfortunately, this error is becoming more widespread each year, it seems. Grrrr... Just remember: if something is "definite" it is "finite" in space/time.
A "hanger" is what you put clothes on. A "hangar" is where you keep an airplane.
Okay, this is a biggie. A "rein" is part of a horse's harness. To guide, slow or stop a horse, you pull on the "reins". To bring a situation under control, you "rein it in".
A king or queen, however, has a "reign" (think "sovereign") (Middle English regne, from Anglo-French, from Latin regnum, from reg-, rex king).
"Rain" falls from the sky.
Three very different words with very different meanings. A "peak" is the top of something, say a mountain or the roof of a house (stand on the peak of a mountain and gaze down at the world"). To "pique" is to irritate, instigate or arouse an emotion, or is the state of emotion which follows this (a fit or state of pique). To "peek" is to steal a glance, to peer at something ("I took a quick peek but saw nothing").
"Break" means something goes to pieces or someone is going easy on you ("give me a break!"). "Brake" means to slow something down, or the object used to slow something down.
That "e" makes a big difference. "Heroin" is a drug. The "heroine" is the female lead of a story.
Please help stop the insidious spread of this increasingly common mistake.
"Might" is power, or means something could possibly happen. ("Mighty" is the adjective form of this word.)
A "Mite" is something very, very small.
"Your" means that you own something: Your car is a mess! Your house needs painting, etc.
"You're" is the contraction of "You are": You're looking good! You're going where?
To "dilute" or to be "diluted" means to be watered down or spread out.
To "delude" or to be "deluded" means to be fooled or to confuse (directly related to "delusion/delusional").
To "clamor" is to shout or make noise. To "clamber" is to climb or struggle over an obstacle.
Past is a time reference, used to indicate occurences in time prior to the present. "Oh, that's history. It's in the past." Alternately, past is used as an adverb: "He went past at a high rate of speed."
Passed means having traveled beyond something in physical space. "He passed me on the right! That's illegal!"
(There's a lot more to these two, but we'll stop here for the sake of space.)
If someone is crying loudly, they're "bawling".
"Balling" is frequently used as a sexual euphemism, and thus is rather jarring if it appears in the wrong place.
All righty then. I feel better after getting that off my chest.
I'm sure many of you understand, and probably agree.
I appreciate that, truly.
And while we're on the subject of getting things off our chests...