I don't know about you, but if I read a story where the author uses an incorrect word, it makes me want to toss the book aside. Why don't writers make sure what they say is what they mean - and why, for heaven's sake hasn't an editor picked up the error?
These seemingly comparable words have different meanings. Be sure you’re using the correct one in each pair.
- To appraise is to gauge; to apprise is to let know.
- To be amused is to be entertained; to be bemused is to be puzzled.
- To attain is to achieve; to obtain is to acquire.
- To ascribe is to attach an idea to a source; to subscribe is to hold belief in an idea.
- To be born is to be brought forth; to be borne is to be carried along.
- To barter is to trade; to haggle is to negotiate.
- To borrow is to receive something for temporary use; to loan is to provide something on those terms.
- To careen is to sway; to career is to hurry carelessly.
- To censor is to ban; to censure is to reprimand.
- To criticize is to judge harshly or in a negative manner; to critique is to evaluate.
- To denigrate is to demean; to deprecate is to disapprove.
- To differ is to be distinct from; to vary is to change.
- To espouse is to support; to expound means enlighten.
- To rebut is to argue in reply to another argument; to refute is to reject an argument.
- To wangle is to acquire by devious means; to wrangle is to wrestle.