Posted by: bluesyemre | October 8, 2015

75 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Dumb by Jeff Haden


Using the right word can matter. Using the wrong word can matter even more. I once lost a potential writing gig because I used “who” instead of “whom” in a proposal letter. (And I still have trouble getting “who” and “whom” right.) Even just one incorrectly used word–especially when you’re trying to make a great impression–can ruin everything. Is that unfair? Yes… but it does happen. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, I’ve collected some of the most common incorrectly used words from other posts into one epic post. (Thanks to all the readers along the way who offered their own examples, many of which are included here.) Here we go.

  • Adverse and averse
  • Advise and advice
  • Affect and effect
  • Aggressive and enthusiastic
  • Award and reward
  • Between and among
  • Bring and take
  • Compliment and complement
  • Continuously and continually
  • Criterion and criteria
  • Discreet and discrete
  • Elicit and illicit
  • Everyday and every day
  • Evoke and invoke
  • Farther and further
  • Fewer and less
  • Good and well
  • If and whether
  • Impact and affect (and effect)
  • Imply and infer
  • Insure and ensure
  • Irregardless and regardless
  • Mute and moot
  • Number and amount
  • Peak and peek
  • Precede and proceed
  • Principle and principal
  • Slander and libel
  • Stationary and stationery
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Systemic and systematic
  • Then and than
  • Ultimate and penultimate
  • It’s and its
  • They’re and their
  • Who’s and whose
  • You’re and your

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: