The written word; it’s not just for classrooms and résumés anymore. Between Facebook, Twitter, texting, sexting, and email, some of us are now writing more than we’re speaking.
We’re not here to give you a grammar lesson; hey, we like to throw in semicolons and exclamation points all over the place! (Notice?) But, because we care, we want to help. We want that email to your boss to impress, and your dating profile to shine! So we thought we’d point out a few words you might have been mixing up. Or, y’know, not you, but your friend on Facebook.
Just post this and walk away. They won’t know it’s for them.
Weary is not the same as wary, and other words everybody screws up
everyday ≠ every dayEveryday means commonplace, ordinary, mundane. Oh, these old things? These are just my everyday clothes. Everyday most definitely does not mean every day.
Every day means every day. I wear the same old clothes every day, every single day. I gotta go shopping.The Loop
Phase ≠ fazeA phase is a stage, a period of time. To faze is to disturb.
Little Timmy won’t stop sucking his thumb but it’s probably just a phase, it doesn’t faze me at all.The Loop
Imply ≠ InferThey’re opposites. When you imply you suggest something. When you infer you make an educated guess. It’s hard to remember. Try this: when you infer you take it in. We couldn’t think of anything clever for imply. But it’s not infer.The Loop
Faint ≠ feintFaint, of course, is what you do when you win the lottery. You pass the heck out. Or, as an adjective, you get a faint (slight) whiff of skunk.
You won’t hear feint quite as often unless you’re into combat sports. Feint to the left, jab to the right. It’s a fake out.The Loop
Weary ≠ waryWhat weary does equal is tired. I’m weary after bathing my 17 non-compliant dogs. It was exhausting!
Wary on the other hand is cautious. Be wary of Brutus, he bites when you get him anywhere near water.The Loop
Spade ≠ spayedA spade is a shovel. Or one of those little dealies in a deck of cards.
Spayed is what your dog or cat is. Hopefully. If you paid any attention to Bob Barker. You spay your pet, then she has been spayed. No puppies for you.The Loop
Envy ≠ JealousyClose, but not the same. If I envy you I wish I had what you have. Good looks, money, and brains too? You are truly blessed friend.
Jealousy? I want what you have and I resent the fact that you have it. Or of course, there’s this.The Loop
than ≠ thenThan is generally used for comparison: I am shorter than you. Really, I probably am.
Then is used to put things in sequence: I went to the store, then I went to the park, then I went home. The park was more fun than home was.The Loop
A lot ≠ AlotA lot of people think that alot is a word. It isn’t.
A lot is a whole bunch. Oodles. Gobs. A gosh-darn plethora.The Loop
Loose ≠ loseLoose is the opposite of tight. Lose is the opposite of find.
If your wedding ring is too loose you might just lose it.The Loop
Antidote ≠ anecdoteAn antidote is a medicine to counteract poison, or just something that counteracts something bad.
An anecdote is a short funny or interesting (depending on the teller) story about something true: Last summer my dog got bitten by a snake and I tried to suck the poison out. They ended up having to give me the antidote!The Loop
Asterisk ≠ AsterixThis is an asterisk: *
This is an Asterix.The Loop
Could of ≠ could’veCould’ve is the contracted form of could have. I could’ve been a contender!
Could of sounds pretty much the same, but doesn’t mean anything at all.The Loop
Fewer ≠ LessHere’s a simple way to think about it: If you can count it, use fewer; if you can measure it use less. This’ll work most of the time.
If I just eat fewer cookies and drink less pop I’ll be back in these jeans in no time!The Loop
Fourth ≠ ForthBetween third and fifth comes fourth. You could say fourth comes fourth. It does, you know.
When you come forth you come forward or into view.
You might say fourth comes forth. But that would be confusing.The Loop
Flair ≠ flareYou’ve got style, you’ve got flair. It’s your special talent. That little oomph. You go girl.
If you’ve got flare you’re on fire. Literally. Flare is a flame. Or a shape, but that’s bringing too much into this.The Loop
Peek ≠ peak ≠ PIQUEThe peak. The zenith, summit, crest, pinnacle. Figuratively or literally. You’re 40, you’ve climbed to the top of Everest. You’re at the peak and at your peak! You’re the tops, baby.
A peek is a look. A little look. A little, bitty look. Take a peek at what I’m doing here, but don’t look too long, I’m not done yet.
Pique is a verb. It means to arouse. No, no, not like that. To arouse interest or curiosity. That first sentence piqued my interest, but then you said, “No, no, not like that.”The Loop
flammable = inflammableThe most important pairing in our list. Flammable does equal inflammable! Both mean easily set on fire. Don’t forget it, unless you want to have flare.The Loop