GrammarPhile Blog

Similar but Different: Choosing the Right Word

Posted by Terri Porter   Feb 4, 2015 6:00:00 AM

This note accompanied a recent job submitted to ProofreadNOW.com: “Please check for any blaring errors.” And this excerpt appeared in another job: “Two witnesses must be present when you sign your advanced directive.”

Encountering a word that’s similar to the one that belongs but isn’t quite right is like stepping on a slippery object while walking in a murky lake — you know you’re not on solid ground but aren’t sure why.

Sometimes the answer is obvious, as in the first example, in which “blaring” (a loud and unpleasant sound) should be “glaring” (obvious or noticeable). Sometimes it’s less so. We see the error in the second example quite a bit at ProofreadNOW.com. “Advanced” means developed beyond an initial stage. “Advance” is the correct term here, meaning “made, sent or provided at an early time.”

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Topics: word choices, common mistakes, misused words

Video: "Underway" or "Under Way"

Posted by Phil Jamieson   May 15, 2013 5:30:00 AM

One word or two? Not sure? Watch this brief GrammarTip video for the answer.

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Topics: GrammarTip video, Video, word choices, underway, under way

Clash of Words

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Mar 20, 2013 5:30:00 AM

Here are some interesting word choices people too often fumble. Make sure you don't!

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Topics: word choices, which word is correct

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