Irritatingly Misused Words
I read a lot of words. I teach college and I find that there is a lot of reading and writing. With that knowledge I have found myself cringing in my office chair every time I see a word used improperly. I also write books and edit both essays and books for others.
There are so many words in the English language, that's for sure. What astounds me is the number of individuals who are students, consider themselves authors, or hold advanced degrees who are incapable of remembering basic grammar they learned in primary school.
Listed below are some of the words I see misused a lot. I know it is difficult sometimes to differentiate. Especially when you are distracted by family or the telephone or the potatoes boiling over in the pot.
I hope that these little tips will help people to use the correct forms of words. English would be much easier if they didn't try so hard to make things difficult.
1. To, too, two
- a. To: (direction) I am going to the store
- b. Too: (also) I liked it too.
- c. Two: (2) I want 2 pieces of cake.
2. They’re, there, their
- a. They’re (they are): They’re going to the store
- b. There: (place): There is my candy bar!
- c. Their: (possession): I want to go to their house.
3. Accept, except
- a. Accept: (to agree) : I accept your offer
- b. Except: (besides): I like the cake except the frosting is too sweet.
4. A lot is two words
5. It is toward, not towards, it is among, not amongst
6. Affect, effect
- a. Affect: (to influence): she can affect an air of superiority.
- b. Effect: (result): I have the effect of annoying people.
7. Whose, who’s
- a. Whose: (possessive): I like people whose opinions are the same as mine.
- b. Who’s: (who is): Who’s in my house?
8. Its, it’s
- a. Its: (possessive): It’s mine.
- b. It’s (it is). It’s on the couch.
9. Lose, loose
- a. Lose: Did you lose something?
- b. Loose: My shoes are too loose.
10. Assure, ensure, insure
- a. Assure (to remove doubt): I assure you that I did not do it.
- b. Ensure (to make certain): Winning the lottery will ensure our future.
- c. Insure (guarantee in case of loss): We can insure your objects.
11. Me, I
- a. Me: It could not have been me. Here is a picture of me.
- b. I: I am going to the store. Jeremy and I are going to the store.
- i. Tip: if you take off Jeremy and *I* makes sense then use it. If you take off the other person and the sentence does not make sense, then use *me*.
12. Definitely, defiantly
- a. Definitely: Surely.
- 1. I definitely need to get some sugar for that coffee.
- b. Defiantly: with argument
- 1. The child defiantly refused to take the medicine.
And the big no no!!! A lot is TWO words. :-) Allot is one.