Monthly Archives: September 2013

Word of the day – Reluctant, reticent

People use these words interchangeably, and while they both refer to hesitation, they’re not exactly the same. Reticence refers to an unwillingness to speak or discomfort talking. Reluctance is a general unwillingness to act, including the act of speaking. Reticent … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Word of the day – Wax and wane

The easiest way to remember waxing and waning is to apply them to the moon. The waxing moon is growing, and the waning moon is fading. Waxing, then, means to gain in intensity or magnitude. Wane means to decrease in … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Word of the day – who and that

Who’s a who and what’s a that? Who that? A common word mix-up occurs in the “X (who) (that) did Y” construction. This should be an easy one: Who refers to people and that refers to things. The error generally is made … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Word of the day – Adverse and averse

Adverse and averse have some overlap in that they both refer to things you don’t like. Perhaps that leads to the confused use. Adverse is bad, harmful or against your position, as in adverse weather conditions. Averse is an intense … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commonly misspelled words

It took Y2K for me to finally have to learn out to spell millennium, and I’ve kept a list of other words that have bedeviled me over the years – plus a few memory joggers on how to spell them … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Word of the day – sight, site, cite

Even lawyers goof this up: What a cite to see Arizona’s immigration law sited on so many web sights. A lawyer friend of mine who also happens to be an accomplished writer got this one wrong the other day, so … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Word of the day – Conscious and conscience

Conscious is being awake and aware: “He was conscious during the operation.” “She was conscious of the damage her story would do.” Conscience refers to your sense of morality. “She always carefully recycled the trash as a matter of conscience.” … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment