To write effectively, you must be careful with your choice of words. Here are some words that may be misused:
Perishable / Perishing
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.
Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau