GrammarPhile Blog

Six Words That Confuse Even Smart People

Posted by Conni Eversull   Apr 2, 2014 5:00:00 AM


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Topics: word meaning

Be an Exemplar of Excellent Elocution

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Mar 26, 2014 5:00:00 AM


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Topics: word meaning

Word Choices

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Apr 19, 2011 5:30:00 AM

Always be sure you're using the right word. If you're not sure, don't use it! Here's a great list from Woe Is I.

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Topics: misused words, word usage, word meaning

Test Your Vocabulary

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Aug 3, 2010 5:00:00 AM

Variety of Garden Words

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With prose that sells, and no misspells, and smart quotes all in a row.

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Topics: vocabulary test, word meaning

Words That Mean the Opposite of What You Might Think

Posted by Gregory Stepanich   Oct 20, 2009 4:00:00 AM

Writing late last month in the New York Times Magazine, the journalist Jack Rosenthal came up with a good term of art to describe a word that means the opposite of what a typical user might think it means: phantonym.

This is a nifty little neologism, and here is Rosenthal's piece (link to:, which offers numerous useful examples. Among them: enervated, which means "weakened," not "energized," and fortuitous, which means "by chance," not "fortunately." Rosenthal cites seven others: fulsome, noisome, enormity, disinterested, penultimate, presently and restive.

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Topics: misused words, word meaning

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