commonly confused words

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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Which Word Wednesday: Historic vs. Historical

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A recent editing job sent me on an etymological hunt for the difference between historic and historical. My search would serve two purposes: The first, for my client; the second, for Which Word Wednesday. C’est magnifique! This quandary arose because I needed to know if Jesus would be considered a…

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Which Word Wednesday: Pedal vs. Peddle

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My first major editing error was in a newsletter for an international ministry organization. The article headline read something like this: Pastor Peddling for God! Although it is possible that a pastor was hawking wares for the Lord, that’s not what the article was about. It was about a pastor…

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Which Word Wednesday: Peruse vs. Skim

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Do you have favorite words? My guess is you do. Each of us has a preferred vocabulary storehouse from which we draw to think, speak, and write. My vocabulary storehouse holds some words simply because of how they sound rolling off the tongue. These are the words I use generously—words…

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Which Word Wednesday: Podium vs. Lectern

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If you’ve ever given a speech—for work, class, church, etc.—then you’ve likely encountered the words selected for today’s Which Word Wednesday post. So here’s my question for you: When giving a speech, do you stand behind the podium or the lectern? These words are often used interchangeably, but careful speakers…

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