Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

These Words Are Easily Confusec

To write effectively, you must be careful with your choice of words. Here are some words that may be misused: 

Perishable / Perishing

Perishable: liable to die quickly; perishing: causing suffering.

e.g. Fresh vegetables are perishable; put them in the refrigerator.
e.g. Negative thinking may cause perishing emotions and thoughts.

Numerical / Numerous
Numerical: having to do with numbers; numerous: great in number.

e.g. If you want to do well in your math, you must learn these numerical symbols.
e.g. The turnout at the meeting was numerous.

Observable / Observant
Observable: can be seen or noticed; observant: quick to pay attention.

e.g. The solution to the problem is observable to many scientists.
e.g. To be a good scientist, you must be observant of all the relevant details and data.

Fragile / Frail

Fragile: delicate, easily broken; frail: weak in health; without strong support.

e.g. This piece of glassware is fragile; please handle it with care.
e.g. You look pale and frail today. What's wrong with you?
e.g. The presidential candidate received frail support from his own State.

Providing that / Provided that
Provided that: on condition that; providing that is incorrect.

e.g. You can go out to play provided (that) you have finished your homework.
e.g. You can keep the book for another week providing that no one has reserved it (incorrect)
e.g. The millionaire has helped the poor, providing many of them with food and shelter. (correct; meaning: giving or offering)

Noteworthy / Noticeable
Noteworthy means deserving attention; noticeable means easily seen.

e.g. The candidate's accomplishments are noteworthy.
e.g. The flaws in the Governor's character are easily noticeable to the public.

Indoor / Indoors
Indoor is an adjective; indoors is an adverb.

e.g. Basketball is both an indoor and outdoor game.
e.g. A storm is coming; let's go indoors.

Welcome / Welcomed
Welcome is an adjective or a verb; welcomed is a participle.

e.g. You are most welcome.
e.g. This is a welcome party for all newcomers.
e.g. I like to welcome all of you.
e.g. The guests were welcomed by all of us in front of the house.

Impersonate / Personate

Impersonate: copy or imitate a person for fun; personate is to claim to be another person with the purpose to cheat or deceive.

e.g. The comedian impersonated the movie star to entertain the audience.
e.g. Someone personated the doctor, and went into the surgery room

Accountable to / Accountable for
Accountable to: responsible to someone; accountable for: responsible for something.

e.g. The CEO is accountable to the Board; he has to be accountable for all his business decisions.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Prepositional Words and Phrases


Blow in: visit unexpectedly.
 e.g. What a surprise! What blows you in?

Blow over: end without causing harm.
 e.g. The Mayor expected the riot would blow over in a day or two.

Blow up: become very angry.
 e.g. As soon as he heard the bad news, he blew up and started shouting and screaming.

Noise about: gossip.
 e.g. Please don’t noise about my being fired by my boss.


Appeal against: ask a court to cancel something.
 e.g. The lawyer appealed against the court’s decision.

Appeal for: demand as a right.
 e.g. I think we should appeal for justice.
 e.g. They are appealing for our help.

Appeal to: attract or please someone.
 e.g. The proposal appealed to many of us.
 e.g. Her personality appeals to everybody around her.
 e.g. Does this food appeal to your taste?


Include among: choose or classify.
 e.g. He included himself among the top writers of science fiction.

Include in: invite.
 e.g. I think we’ll include him in the party.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, December 8, 2017

Easily Confused Words


Perishable: liable to die or perish quickly.
e.g. Fresh vegetables are perishable if you don't put them in the refrigerator.
Perishing: causing suffering.
e.g. Negative thinking may cause perishing emotions and thoughts.


A few has a more positive meaning; few has a more negative meaning.
e.g. A few people might ask for your help (some, not too many).
e.g. We were disappointed that only few people showed up (hardly any).


Foul means dirty or offensive; fowl is a bird, such as hen.
e.g. The smoke from that factory fouls the air. (as a verb)
e.g. He always speak foul language, even in the presence of ladies. (as an adjective)
e.g. We are going to have a roast fowl for dinner tonight.


Sedative: calming or soothing.
e.g. Without her sedative medicine, she could not go to sleep.
Sedentary: accustomed to sitting; physically inactive.
e.g His sedentary work -- sitting in front of the computer -- took a toll on his health.
e.g. Most seniors have a sedentary lifestyle as they continue to age.


Fragile: delicate, easily broken.
e.g. This piece of antique is fragile; please handle with care.
Frail: weak in health; without strong support.
e.g. He looks pale and frail.
e.g. The Senator received frail support from his party.


Periodic: occurring again and again.
e.g. The singer has never really retired with periodic appearance on TV.
Periodical: published at regular intervals.
e.g. This is a periodical magazine -- published once a month.

Impair: weaken or repair.
e.g. Spending too much time on the computer may impair your vision.
Repair: fix
e.g. Eye exercises can repair your vision

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wisdom in Living

This is a completely updated website on how to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

The journey of life is long and unpredictable. We all need wisdom to guide us along the way so that we will not get lost; even if we do, we may still find out way back to where it will eventually lead us to our final destination.

This new website may provide you with wisdom as your compass and roadmap on your life journey.

Wisdom in living comprises seeking God's wisdom through understanding human wisdom in order to live a meaningful and purposeful life, even in the golden years. The ancient wisdom of Tao holds the key to applying these principles of life and living in this modern world.

Stephen Lau

Monday, December 4, 2017

Prepositional Words and Phrases


Inform about: tell someone about someone or something.

e.g. I will inform you about your son’s academic progress from time to time.

Inform of: provide facts about.

e.g.  The lawyer will inform us of the decision of the court.

Inform on: tell the authorities of someone or something.

e.g. We must inform the police on the disappearance of the documents.

e.g. I think he was the guy who informed on you.


Run against: compete with.

e.g. I am going to run against him in the coming election.

Run away: leave; escape.

e.g. The burglar ran away before the police arrived.

Run down: hit with a vehicle; stop functioning.

e.g. The old man was run down by the bus.

e.g. My lawn mower is running down; I need to get a new one.

Run into: meet by accident

e.g. Yesterday, I ran into an old friend that I had not seen for decades.

Run over: come by for a quick visit.

e.g. Can you run over for a minute? I’ve something important to tell you.

Run out of: do not have any more of something

e.g. Hurry! We're running out of time!

e.g. He could not make the dessert because he ran out of milk and sugar.


Poke one’s nose into: pry into.

e.g. Don’t poke your nose into my affairs; it’s none of your business.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau