Effective writing is about words -- the right choice of words.
Indoor and Indoors
Indoor is an adjective, while indoors is an adverb.
e.g. We went indoors because a storm was coming.
e.g. We love to watch all indoor games.
Distinct and Distinctive
Distinct means “clear” or “obvious”; distinctive means “having a characteristic of something.”
e.g. The water had a distinct smell of petroleum.
e.g. Petroleum has a distinctive smell.
Compare with and Compare to
e.g. I want to compare this dress with that one to see which one is more suitable for me. (finding differences)
e.g. I don’t want to compare my dress to hers. (making a comparison, especially finding similarities)
Continual and Continuous
e.g. All these years, our support has been continual. (repeated often)
e.g. The sound of the alarm was continuous for more than ten minutes. (with no interruption)
Council and Counsel
e.g. Seek counsel (advice) from an expert before you go to the town council (administrative body).
Disinterested and Uninterested
e.g. A judge has to be disinterested. (impartial; fair)
e.g. I was uninterested in the game. (showing no enthusiasm)
Avenge and Revenge
e.g. He avenged her death by bringing the killer to justice. (seeking justice)
e.g. He revenged the death of his son by killing the murderer’s son. (less concerned with justice, more concerned with getting even)
Any one and Anyone
e.g. Any one of you can come. (more specific)
e.g. Anyone can come. (generally not specifically)
Contemptible and Contemptuous
e.g. To take advantage of the poor is a contemptible act. (deserving to be looked down upon)
e.g. He is contemptuous of those who disagree with him. (showing contempt; looking down upon)
Historic and Historical
e.g. That was a historic event. (having a long history)
e.g. This is a historical novel. (about history)
Implicit and Explicit
e.g. The security threat was implicit in this report. (hinted; suggested)
e.g. We were given very explicit instructions on how to deal with the problem. (clearly stated; detailed)
Stephen LauCopyright©2018 by Stephen Lau