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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Choosing the Right Words

Choosing the Right Words

Effective writing is about choosing the right words and using them correctly.

Flair and Flare

e.g. You always have a flair for fashion. (natural talent)

e.g. The fireworks exploded in a flare. (bright light)

Censor and Censure

e.g. We had to censor this film before letting the public view it. (edit or remove anything objectionable)

e.g. We had to censure the producer for making this controversial film. (condemn)

Exhausting and Exhaustive

Exhausting means “tiring out”; exhaustive means “complete or thorough.”

e.g. This work is too exhausting for me.

e.g. Exhaustive research on cancer cure has been conducted for decades.

Different from and Different than

e.g. The movie was different from the book.

e.g. The movie was different than I had expected. (than a subordinating conjunction)

Grisly and Grizzly

e.g. A grisly crime was committed in this quiet neighborhood. (terrifying)

e.g. I saw a grizzly bear at our backyard. (hairy)

Eminent and Imminent

e.g. My daughter is an eminent attorney. (prominent; well known)

e.g. A storm was imminent. (coming soon)

Beside and Besides

e.g. He was sitting beside me. (next to)

e.g. Besides cycling, he was interested in swimming. (in addition to; apart from)


Complement and Compliment

e.g. What a wonderful dessert to complement the meal! (complete)

e.g. I wish to compliment you on your success.(praise)

Any way and Anyway

e.g. I cannot think of any way to do this. (any method)

e.g. I didn’t like it, but I did it anyway. (in any case; just the same)

Bad and Badly

Bad is always an adjectivebadly is always an adverb:

e.g. Don’t feel bad about getting a “C” in your English. (NOT badly: a bad feeling)

e.g. I performed badly in the piano competition. (NOT bad: performed badly or poorly)

e.g. The food looked bad to me. (NOT badlybad or rotten food)

e.g. He coughed badly. (NOT bad: coughed seriously)

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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