Commonly misused words

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Quite often in English, words develop a different meaning through constant misuse. Here’s list of words that are frequently used in the wrong context; often in business letters and documents. Test your knowledge and make sure you are using them correctly. The correct meaning or meanings are in red.

Viable
profitable
practicable
economic
capable of maintaining life
able to compete

Discrete
sensible
diplomatic
separate in form or concept
sympathetic
abstract

Advise
offer counsel to

t
ell
warn
give official notification
publish

Verbal
by word of mouth – as in verbal agreement, verbal warning
by written word
concerned with words
spelt out
long and wordy

Inordinate
unconfirmed
excessive
along the same lines
irregular – as in not regulated
rare

Exacerbate
simplify
free from blame
stimulate
aggravate
blunt

Optimise
hope for the best
make as great as possible
make at the lowest cost
compromise
use in the best possible way

Prevaricate
postpone
deliberately evade or deceive
substitute
undermine
suggest

Transpire
occur
hope for
follow logically
come about accidentally
become known gradually

Feasible
practicable
practical
probable
plausible
possible

| Acronyms, bacronyms and the wisdom of Humpty Dumpty

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

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