Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

plague – an epidemic disease; a disastrous evil or affliction

The flu is quickly becoming a plague.

plaque – a decorative tablet that honors someone or commemorates something

He received a plaque to commemorate his 10th anniversary at the firm.

Memory tips:

  • plague – A disease usually makes your tongue feel weird or coated, so I would remember the word plague having to do with your tongue.
  • plaque – A plaque you put on the wall will make people question how you earned it, so remember that a plaque will make people question.

Confusing Words Of The Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

discreet – prudent

She was discreet about the secret her friend shared with her.

discrete – distinct; separate

The book had a discrete section on citations.

Memory tips:

discreet – think of the ee as eyes seeing something that shouldn’t be posted on the internet or something that you have to be discreet about.

discrete is separate – both end in te

 

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Shown – displayed; revealed; past participle of show

The results had shown that their efforts were successful.

Shone – gave off light; did shine

The light shone directly in her eyes.

So what memory trick can we use to help remember these?

Shown is showing off something that you own.

Shone means did shine so it’s a change of one letter.

Grammar Giggle – Clicks

My news station comes through again. This story was about a high school student who was bullied in middle school and who developed an app to help other students meet to “sit with us.” Great concept, right? But I think what the news station meant to emphasize was the “cliques” of middle school and high school. A “clique” is, according to dictionary.com,  “a small, exclusive group of people.” The kind of group who would bully people and tell them “you can’t sit with us,” the “mean girl” kind of group. So while I appreciate their continuing assistance in future Grammar Giggles (I already have two from earlier this week that will come soon), I can just shake my head and wince when I see it on TV.

Cafeteria Clicks

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the WeekIt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

  • hail – precipitation in the form of small balls or lumps usually consisting of concentric layers of clear ice and compact snow; something that gives the effect of a shower of hail

The man fell from a hail of rifle fire.

  • hale – free from defect, disease, or infirmity; to compel to go

Her grandmother was hale and hearty for 90 years old.

She was haled into court when she ignored her jury summons.

Memory Tips:
  • hail – ice falling from the sky or something like ice falling.
  • hale – contains most of the letters in health and most of the letters in haul (as in compelling to go).

Confusing Words of the Week

Words of the Weekt’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

“Compliment” – an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration

  • “She paid me an enormous compliment on my dress.”

“Complement” is something that completes or makes perfect

  • A good wine is a complement to a good meal.”

Memory Tips:

A complIment is something I like to hear.

COMPLEment COMPLEtes something.

Confusing Words of the Week

It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

Rifle – to ransack and steal

  • They rifled through the dresser drawers looking for valuables.

Riffle – to flip through

  • I don’t like to riffle a magazine, I read it page by page.

Memory Tips:

I would probably think of “riffle” with multiple “f” as the sound a magazine or book makes when your flip the pages–the same sound over and over (we’ll use the “f” sound).

Rifle I would associate with criminals using guns, so criminals are the ones who would be ransacking and stealing.

 

Grammar Giggle – Close Profanity

My daughter sent this one to me. My neighbors may think they live in “close profanity” to me, but I’m pretty sure they meant to say “close proximity.”

Close Profanity

Random Thoughts

RandomThoughtsHere are a few things that I’ve come across lately and thought you might find interesting:

  1. Publically or Publicly? I changed the spelling of “publically” in a document recently and was told that it was a correct alternative spelling and to leave it that way. So I’ve researched it a little bit. It appears “publically” is gaining in popularity, but the majority still favors “publicly” as the correct spelling.
  2. Preventive or Preventative? According to Dictionary.com, the definitions are:

Preventive:

A. Medicine/Medical. Of or noting a drug, vaccine, etc., for preventing disease; prophylactic.

B. serving to prevent or hinder: preventive measures.

Preventative (actually refers you back to Preventive):

A. Medicine/Medical. of or noting a drug, vaccine, etc., for preventing disease; prophylactic.

B. serving to prevent or hinder: preventive measures.

Yep, they are the same. “Preventive” has been used in writings much longer, but “preventative” is gaining ground. “Preventative” is used more frequently outside the United States, while “preventive” is used more here in the U.S., so either is correct.

  1. Various different. I saw this recently in something I was proofreading. Unfortunately, both words mean the same thing. Again, according to Dictionary.com, “various” means: “of different kinds, as two or more things; differing one from another” while one of the definitions of “different” is: “various; several.” So in this case, pick one. Use either “various” or “different,” but not both of them together.
  1. Coming down the pipe or pike? This question was raised to me recently. It looks like “coming down the pike” is the original idiom from back when the “pike” was shortened from “turnpike.” However, “coming down the pipe” is gaining in popularity, because lots of things come down a pipe. Since “turnpikes” have fallen out of common language in favor of “freeway,” more people understand “pipe.” So the more common version in today’s lingo is “coming down the pipe.”
  1. Postliminary. I had this word come up in something I was proofreading recently. Since I hadn’t heard that word before, I looked it up. Merriam-Webster defines it as: done or carried on after something else or as a conclusion; subsequent —opposed to preliminary. While I’m not sure it is a great replacement for “after,” I kind of like it. So you will have preliminary, main, and postliminary.
  1. Thank-you. I’ve seen this word hyphenated before and just thought, without a doubt, that it was wrong. Someone told me recently it is correct. Apparently, it IS correct. Merriam-Webster online defines “thank-you” as “a polite expression of one’s gratitude.” Grammar Girl even says “thank-you” can be used as a noun or an adjective. However, when I search for “thank-you” on Google, the vast majority of the returns are not hyphenated. I believe I’ll stick with the unhyphenated version.
  1. Myriad of. “Myriad” is defined by Dictionary.com as “a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things.” People say that since “myriad” originally meant 10,000 and you wouldn’t say “a 10,000 of trees,” that saying “a myriad of” is incorrect. However, common practice is to use “myriad” as both a noun and as a adjective, so it is becoming more commonplace to say “a myriad of.” Personally, I prefer “myriad” all by its little lonely self, and have corrected it myriad times (see what I did there?). But if the author insists, “a myriad of” is not incorrect.

Well that’s my list of petty annoyances that I’ve been keeping lately. Do you have any petty annoyances you’d like to share? Email those to me at proofthatblog@gmail.com.

Confusing Words of the Week

It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to proofthatblog@gmail.com and they may appear here soon!

This week’s words are:

Elicit – to draw forth

  • He was trying to elicit a confession from his son.

Illicit – Unlawful

  • Stealing a car is an illicit act.

Tips to help remember:

Illicit – Illegal

Elicit – think of the legs of the “e” as trying to pull something out of the “back” of the “e”