Skip to main content

Another Tiny List of Confusables

Earlier, you may remember we published a list of confusable words. Here we are again, with such a list of words.

Abjure/Adjure: Abjure means "to formally renounce (give up) something" such as a position. Adjure on the other hand means 'to appeal to' or 'solemnly order'.

The governor decided to abjure his position due to political pressure.
Normally, adjuring to the subordinates doesn't give many results.

Amount/Number: Use amount when you have uncountable subject. Use number when it is countable.

The amount of love one gets depends on the number of friends one has.

Appraise/Apprise: Appraise is the word applied to quantitative evaluation of something. Apprise means 'communicate' or 'inform'.

Appraising diamonds is the work of an expert.
Joe apprised me of the schedule of events.

Attorney/Lawyer/Solicitor: These terms are highly misinterpreted and confused by many people. Let me clarify. In the US, an attorney is any member of legal profession licensed to plead for a client in a court of law. Lawyer also has the same meaning in the US, but its meaning is more expansive than attorney in that a lawyer can be a legal consultant or counselor as well.

The word 'solicitor' is mostly used in the UK to mean a lawyer, who does legal paperwork, counseling, and occasionally appearance at courts of law.

Carrot/Carat/Caret: Carrot is the root vegetable. Carat is the standard unit of precious stones and metals. Caret is the standard term applied to the blinking vertical line you see on word processing software to indicate the place for the next character.

Childlike/Childish: Childlike is "having the good qualities and charm of a child." Childish is having the "bad qualities and frivolous attitude of a child".

Emma's husband was childlike at the party.
The childish behavior of the movie star cost a million dollar to the production company.

Cloths/Clothes: Cloth is the term applied to fabric or piece of fabric of any type; cloths is the plural term of it. Clothes on the other hand refers to any garments a person is wearing.

The linen cloth is very thick and durable.
She prefers cotton clothes to linen ones.

Demure/Demur: The word demure means 'silent', 'modest', or 'acquiescent'. Demur means 'to be reluctant to do something' or 'to challenge an idea mildly'.

Although I suggested a good thing to your demure brother, he demurred quickly.

More such confusable words and explanations will be published in a different post. If you have doubts or suggestions, please let us know through comments.


Popular posts from this blog

Power of Short Sentences

Post dedicated to Thomas Hardy (see History Today below). There are monster sentences like the one you encounter as the first paragraph of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens . One of my friends, whom I am getting equipped for his IELTS ( what is this? ), told me that the examination recommends long sentences. In writing classes also, I guess it’s longer sentences most tutors promote. But indubitably shorter sentences are more powerful . We will see why. Take a long sentence for instance: Tom Cruise, one of the finest actors in the whole world, is perhaps the most powerful celebrity to exist ever according to Time Magazine, but many people still dispute this fact and point out that there are more powerful and popular actors than Cruise, though they were unsuccessful in providing the total number of fans, who liked the films of those actors. This is a long sentence and it is very confusing . Though it has a logical construction and conveys a meaning, it falters in many occasions and seems

Creative Writing: Crafting Characters With Emotional Appeal in Mind

When you read the greatest fiction works ever, have you ever asked what was so compelling about them that you not only kept reading it, but you ended up reading all other major works of the writer? It may well be because the writer touched your emotional quotient quite a bit. Every reader has a unique taste . Some like to read suspense thrillers , some tender love stories, and some others dark horror and bloodshed stories . That’s why there are all sorts of genres out there. When a writer gives you what exactly you want, you will keep reading. Here we come to the emotional appeal. Character Imperfection Perfect characters may not always be the upshot of a writer’s deliberation. It may well be due to ignorance . Usually the upcoming writers take it for granted that if they create perfect characters, they will be able to garner a bigger audience . It is not true. You have to ask yourself what a character would do in a particular situation. Perfect characters—perfect gunmen, perfect