Monday, November 26, 2007

Commonly Misused Words

Irony - This word is all too often used to describe situations or events that would better be described as coincidental or improbable. If you're unwilling to stick to the actual definition as follows, it's probably better you stop using the word.

definition: characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is.

Peruse - This word is most often used when someone is taking a quick look at or through something or browsing. Unfortunately this is almost the opposite of what the word actually means. The only problem with using this word correctly is that most people won't really know what you actually meant.

definition: to examine or consider with attention to detail; to read through with thoroughness or care.

Irregardless - Perhaps you're unsure as to why this word is in this list. The fact that it isn't even a word allows its inclusion. The use of it continues because people merely use words that they hear others use. All you have to do now is use regardless instead.

definition doesn't exist

Unique - This word is also used quite carelessly and has therefore lost the full impact that its meaning could have. By combining it with the words more, very, somewhat and others, you lose the absolute nature of the word.

definition: existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics.

Pristine - So many people use this word when they want to sound more intelligent and use a "bigger" word. It's often used to describe the condition of something, such as in mint condition. Unfortunately, by trying to sound smarter, you're actually displaying your ignorance. Does it sound strange that you can't restore something to a pristine condition?

definition: having its original purity; uncorrupted or unsullied. of or pertaining to the earliest period or state; primitive.

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