A lot of high schools are turning to social media to showcase their 2020 graduating class since they are foregoing the traditional graduation ceremony. I am super proud of my grandson and super disappointed that he doesn’t get the pomp and circumstance of graduation but was happy that his school put together a slideshow of all the seniors. They had special recognition for the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and the male and female Athletes of the Year, EXCEPT while they spelled the hard ones right, they misspelled Athletes of the Year as “Atheletes of the Year.” I know that is how some people pronounce it, but it is not correct. Oh, and my smart and handsome grandson is the male ATHLETE of the Year!
It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Month” 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 email@example.com and they may appear here soon!
This month’s words are:
flaunt – to display showily
He was trying to flaunt his new sportscar to his friends.
flout – to treat with contempt
Because she didn’t like the school principal, she decided to flout his rules.
flaunt – Think of laun as launch because they want to launch their possessions out as far and as high as possible so everyone can see them flaunt it.
flout – Use the out piece of the word to remember they are treating the thing like they want it out of their life.
A recent online news story caught my eye. Although “fentanyl” is spelled correctly in the first paragraph, the spelling in the quote from our Pinal County Sheriff is misspelled. I highly doubt Sheriff Lamb mispronounced it, so I’m thinking the news outlet misspelled it.
Another local news story put out in the universe too soon trying to beat everyone else. It shows the importance of slowing down just a teeny tiny bit to make sure your work product is correct. It looks to me like the first sentence was revised, but “during as” doesn’t make any sense there. Choose one or the other.
More material from “Breaking News” stories from my local news station. When you’re talking about something that is very different from something else, it should be in stark contrast to. They just got that all wrong and it was how the story started.
The pandemic created a special update to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. The new words include COVID-19 and social distancing. They also include these related words and definitions:
Self-isolate: to isolate or separate oneself or itself from others.
Physical distancing: the practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical space between oneself and other people or of avoiding direct contact with people or objects in public places during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection.
WFH: abbreviation for “working from home.”
PPE: abbreviation for “personal protective equipment.”
Intensivist: a physician who specializes in the care and treatment of patients in intensive care.
New technology words include deepfake: an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.
An informal pronunciation spelling has turned up in the dictionary as “finna” meaning “fixing to” do something.
And my favorite of the short list I saw is truthiness: a seemingly truthful quality not supported by facts or evidence.
It’s always good to look up words you haven’t seen before or aren’t sure of their meaning in a dictionary. Learn every day. It is so easy with the ability to get dictionary definitions from Merriam-Webster, Oxford, and other reputable dictionaries on a cell phone that it doesn’t make any sense not to understand what a word means so you can use it correctly.