Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Clarify Those Words

Tell Me a Story

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.