Misusing words may not seem like a huge deal, but it can make you look foolish or confuse your listeners. Which words do you find annoying when used in the wrong context? Here are some of the most commonly misused words.
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“People use ironic as a synonym for coincidental,” mentions a user. Another responds, “Ironically enough, there’s almost a shade of irony when someone uses it. People just like to act superior and say they’re using it wrong.”
Some online users find the word literally pointless. “The words added on to literally are obviously unrealistic,” mentions one user. However, another user argues that “the purpose of the word is to exaggerate and draw attention to what they are saying.”
Effect and Affect
Most people do not know when to use the word affect and effect. Affect is for when making an impact, while effect is the outcome.
A commentator says, “It is not even a word. Regardless means to not regard. Irregardless would mean to not, not regard, which is the same as regard.” But as misused as this word might be, irregardless is indeed a word.
“The only reason people say defiantly to me over texting is autocorrect from definitely,” explains a poster.
“100 years ago, epic was an adjective for a hero or tale of grand scale, but now, it’s an adjective to describe anything if grand or elevated scale,” reads a post. Another commentator says, “Since kids ruined the word epic for me, I now use transcending. It’s not the same, but it sounds grand and immeasurable.”
This word’s meaning has evolved over the years. Initially, it meant “to destroy a tenth of” something. Today, people use it “to destroy a large amount of.”
A husband explains how his wife misuses the word random, “When cooking, she’ll say, ‘Random question, when do I add the wine?’ How is that random? You’re cooking something that needs wine but don’t know when to add it, so now you are asking.”
If only people used random “to describe a person (situations) whose actions are relatively hard to predict.”
“A lot of people confuse it with skeptical,” says a user. “Skepticism is questioning everything; cynicism is doubting everything. Basically, cynicism has a more negative outlook than skepticism,” explains a commentator.
One user explains, “Something which causes a particular person to be offended is not the same as something offensive,” but the dictionary says otherwise. This explains why you will constantly find this word on many social platforms.
“Nothing grinds at me more than the idea that ignorant is considered synonymous with rude. Someone who is exceptionally rude is not necessarily ignorant,” details a commentator. “People also like to think that ‘ignorant’ and ‘stupid’ mean the same thing,” writes another. They don’t.
Some people think peruse means “skim-read over quickly” hence the misuse. It turns out; the word means to read thoroughly and completely.
Another misused word is insure when used interchangeably with ensure. However, “insure means to arrange for compensation if something happens,” while “ensure means to make certain something will happen.”
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