7 Common Words Even Smart People Get Wrong


Are you confident that every word that you use is correct? Most people, even the smart ones, sometimes misuse some words  and some words are often used incorrectly more often than not. Here’s a list of common words that you need to be careful with. See if you know what they truly mean.

  1. Invariably

If something happens invariably, it always happens. To be invariable is to never vary. The word is sometimes used to mean frequently, which has more leeway.

  1. Free rein

Rein is usually confused with the word reign. Remember that reign is a period of power or authority while rein is a strap used to control a horse. The confusion comes in when the control of a horse is used as a metaphor for limits on power or authority.

  1. Just deserts

A desert is a thing which is deserved. It is derived from an old noun deserved.

  1. Tortuous/torturous

Tortuous is a description, something that has many twists and turns, like a winding road or a complicated argument.  While torturous, on the other hand, is a harsh judgment—“It was torture!”

  1. Effect/ Affect

Effect is the noun while affect is the verb.  Color affects mood. Color has an effect in our mood. Basically, if you can put a the or an in front of it, use effect.

  1. Except/accept

To accept means to receive while to except is to exclude or leave out.

  1. Discreet/discrete

Discreet means hush-hush or private. Discrete means separate, divided, or distinct. To remember this easily, you can imagine the two Es huddled together telling secret while in discrete, the two Es are separated. Clever huh!


Read the full article at: mentalfloss.com



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  1. Bobcat January 8, 2017

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