Tuesday Ten – Word Swap

Thought I’d make a list of some of the most commonly misused words I come across when pre-reading for a critique partner. I also used to beta fanfiction, so many of these come from those days.

  1. Taught/Taut – A nipple cannot learn, but it can be tight.
  2. Taunt/Taut – Same deal. Taunt means to tease, but not in the sexy way.
  3. Balk/Bark – Balking is what a horse does when it decides not to jump a fence. Barking is verbally snapping at someone.
  4. Elicit/Illicit – Elicit is to get a response, Illicit means naughty or illegal.
  5. Accept/Except – Accept means to receive something. Except means to exclude something.
  6. Further/Farther – Farther refers to a measurable distance. Further is metaphorical or conceptual.
  7. Insure/Ensure – Insure is literally the act of getting insurance. Ensure is to make certain, or be sure.
  8. Loose/Lose – Loose is the opposite of tight. Lose is the opposite of win.
  9. Allude/Elude – Allude is to call attention to something indirectly. To elude is to evade or escape.
  10. Allot/Alot/A lot – To allot is to allow a certain amount for someone or something. Alot is not a word. A lot means many, much, more than a few. I bow down to the great Allie Brosh for her alot.
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