Tag: commonly confused


Articles / Commonly Confused

In this episode of Commonly Confused, I’m going to discuss the commonly confused pairs ascent/assent and descent/decent. Although dissent may have seemed a more likely choice, given its meaning, I find it’s not misused nearly as often as decent is in this situation. Let’s start at the bottom. From Merriam-Webster, ascent is the act of ascending or rising; a moving or mounting upward. In layman’s terms,...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Nauseated and Nauseous   Conversation overheard between a snarky editor and her victi—er, author: “Ugh. All these changes! I swear you make me nauseous!” “I make you able to cause nausea? Sweet! I am all-powerful!” “No, jerk, you make me sick.” “Grammatically speaking, then, I make you nauseated.” “Fine. Whatever. You make me nauseated.” “Cool! Now I’m nauseous!” As far as grammar is concerned, the...

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Commonly Confused: Three Common Pairs Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Three Common Pairs   Imply and Infer: Imply and infer are commonly confused because, while they don’t really sound alike, their meanings are tied together like two halves of a whole. Similar to give and take or teach and learn, imply and infer are opposite sides of the same situation. A speaker, writer, or other information-giver implies something that a reader, listener, or...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused Peak, Peek and Pique This group of homophones is a favorite of mine. Mostly because I’m always up for a good laugh and I like editing humor. I’m nerdy like that.  So what trips us up about these words besides the fact that two have spellings that are almost identical and their confuses us because it has a Q in it? (Go on,...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Four Less Common Pairs I love words. I get a kick out of twisting a sentence around or subtly shifting its meaning with the replacement of one little word. From passive to aggressive or formal to casual, the switch of a noun or verb can make all the difference in your phrase… or sentence… or paragraph. It’s vital, therefore, to ensure you’re always...

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Articles / Commonly Confused

Commonly Confused: Bare versus Bear By a show of hands, how many still flub up using bare and bear from time to time? I’m relying on your complete honesty here. I promise I won’t call you out on it unless I’m editing your manuscript. 🙂 Why do we mix up bare and bear? It should be straightforward. To paraphrase Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary… BEAR Bear is straightforward...

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