misused words

Which Word Wednesday: Ocean vs. Sea

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Most people would not consider an 840-mile road trip in a minivan with three adults and three kids a good time. But I did just that, and I can honestly say it was an exceptional trip. My mom, my sister, and my sister’s three kids loaded up my sister’s minivan…

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Which Word Wednesday: People vs. Persons

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The more I learn about language confirms how little I know about language. Each time I grab one of my word usage books for selecting a Which Word Wednesday match-up, I am delightfully surprised by something I had never heard before. Such is the case for this week’s pair, people…

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Which Word Wednesday: Flair vs. Flare

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My creative-writer side sometimes battles with my stickler-grammarian side. The creative-writer wants to coin new words and phrases—this side of me wants to create new rules or bend the ones that already exist. The stickler-grammarian wants to follow the tried and true Chicago Manual of Style—this side of me wants…

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Which Word Wednesday: e.g. vs. i.e.

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Each Wednesday we gather around for nail-biting, heart-racing word battles. We look at definitions and context and examples. We toss around our opinions. We vote . . . well, some of us do. The word battles here at WWW can be intense. It’s sort of like Celebrity Deathmatch—without the gore….

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Which Word Wednesday: Abstruse vs. Obtuse

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Moviegoers might rate a film by the story’s accuracy or entertainment value or unusual plot line. The most important factors for me when it comes to movies are character development and dialogue. Give me witty banter—such as in The Spanish Prisoner and Fantastic Mr. Fox—and deep characters—such as Pride and…

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