10 Words That You’ve Probably Been Misusing.

grammar time

There are so many words in the English language that it’s not surprising that the definitions for some of them have gotten mixed up over the years. It’s possible that you’ve gone your entire life without realizing your mistakes.

How long have you been using these words incorrectly? Take a lost at this list so you may never have to suffer embarrassment when you’re tempted to use this words again.

1) Conversate

What you may think it means: to hold a conversation

What it actually means: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

This word is a mix of conversation and converse, and doesn’t actually exist. Yes, it may be in the dictionary…but only to point out its’ use in modern language.  But, it still doesn’t make it grammatically correct.

 2) Ironic

What you may think it means: a funny coincidence

What it actually means: contrary to what you might expect

It’s not ironic that you bumped into a talking turtle in a sweater vest right after you told your friend how cool it would be to bump into a talking turtle in a sweater vest. It’s a coincidence, and believe it or not, those two words are not related.

3) Peruse

What you may think it means: to skim or glance over something

What it actually means: to review something carefully/in-depth

How this definition got completely turned on its head, I’ll never know, but I’ll be sure never to say “I’m going to go peruse my math textbook” ever again, just in case someone overhears and tries to hold me to it under the real meaning.

4) Bemused

What you may think it means: amused

What it actually means: confused

Again, with the whole “words sounding alike” issue. I’m starting to think I just need hearing aids. This is getting out of hand.

5) Compelled

What you may think it means: to willingly do something, to feel like you need to do something

What it actually means: to be forced to do something (willingly or unwillingly)

The word you’re looking for is “impelled.” I agree, it doesn’t get enough attention.

6) Nauseous

What you may think it means: to feel sick

What it actually means: to cause nausea

When you eat too much ice cream and declare to your mom or the nearest adult, “I feel nauseous,” what you’re actually saying is that you are causing people around you to feel sick.  (For the record, “I’m nauseated” is the way to go.)

7) Travesty

What you may think it means: a tragedy, an unfortunate event

What it actually means: a mockery; a parody

This one, I’ll admit, is my own personal error. For the longest time, we equated travesty with tragedy, mostly because in passing, they sound like the same word.

 

8) Redundant

What you may think it means: repetitive

What it actually means: superfluous, able to be cut out

“Including this sentence is redundant because you already mentioned your love of candy in the previous paragraph.” This has always been my exposure to the word redundant, so it only makes sense that I would think repetitive was correct. I can’t be the only one? Right? RIGHT?

9) Enormity

What you may think it means: enormousness

What it actually means: extreme evil

I don’t know where the “extreme evil” thing came from (probably the Devil) but enormity makes more sense as enormousness in my mind.

10) Terrific

What you may think it means: awesome, fantastic

What it actually means: causing terror

Okay, so “causing terror” is more of an outdated definition but I still thought it was interesting. Maybe keep this fun fact in the back of your mind the next time you call your favorite camper, “Terrific Tommy,” because technically, a few decades ago, that might have been an insult. Unless instead of a camper, he’s a serial killer. In that case, go for it.

SOURCE:  “Written Rambles” by Tyler Vendetti

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