Avoiding Commonly Misused Words in Your Writing
Brian Clark at CopyBlogger compiled a list of 27 commonly misused words and how to use them correctly.
Poor grammar and misused words are one of the main criticisms of amateurishly published books. With this list, some diligence, and the help of a good editor, you can stand out from the crowd of poorly written/edited books in the market.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. ~Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
It may be inconceivable for you to misuse a word, but a quick look around the web reveals plenty of people doing it. And it’s all too easy when we hear or see others use words incorrectly and parrot them without knowing it’s wrong.
So let’s take a look at 27 commonly misused words. Some are common mistakes that can cost you when trying to keep a reader’s attention. Others are more obscure and just interesting to know.
Adverse / Averse
Adverse means unfavorable. Averse means reluctant.
Afterwards is wrong in American English. It’s afterward.
Complement / Compliment
I see this one all the time. Complement is something that adds to or supplements something else. Compliment is something nice someone says about you.
Criteria is plural, and the singular form is criterion. If someone tells you they have only one criteria, you can quickly interject and offer that it be they get a clue.
Farther / Further
Farther is talking about a physical distance.
“How much farther is Disney World, Daddy?”
Further is talking about an extension of time or degree.
“Take your business further by reading Copyblogger.”
Read the rest of the article here: The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words