Last September I posted the second in my series of articles about words that are commonly confused and/or misused and often used incorrectly. This series is an extension and expansion of a similar series that I did back in 2012-2013, which was quite popular at the time. This post is my third in the current series. The previous article covered words/terms beginning with the letters “d” to “f”; this one covers the letters “g” through “I”. I will continue to post articles from this series every three or four months over the next year or so.
So, here are some frequently confused and/or misused words beginning with letters (“g” through “i”).
In the past, gender and sex were often used interchangeably. However, they do have slightly different connotations.
“gender” is normally used to designate social or cultural categories.
“sex” designates biological categories and sexually motivated behavior.
In that society, different gender roles are clearly understood.
There is a significant gender-gap in live births in that country.
Medical tests before birth revealed the baby’s sex.
The patient’s sex is a significant factor when testing for that condition.
There is often confusion whether to use singular or plural. Generally, the plural form should be used. However, the singular is sometimes used to simplify, as per the example.
The goods will arrive by ocean container next week.
All goods received from China will be subject to that new tax.
That charge applies to any good or service originating in Mexico.
“hardly” means “scarcely” or “only just”.
It is often used incorrectly as a double negative, as in: “He can’t hardly do it…”, which is incorrect.
I was so exhausted I could hardly make it back to camp.
After the accident, she could hardly remember anything that had taken place before.
has got, have got
“got” is unnecessary when used with have/has in such phrases as:
“We’ve got twelve days until the deadline.”
We have only twelve days left until the deadline.
They have six months to go before their membership expires.
“healthful” means that something is conducive to good health.
“healthy” means that something possesses good health.
That was a very healthful meal that they served us.
If you continue to follow that program you will be very healthy.
“Hisself” is non-standard. DON’T use it. INSTEAD use “himself”.
He went to the game by himself.
He did it all himself.
“historical” means something is related to history.
“historic” means that something is famous or notable in history.
That voyage was of great historical significance.
Gandhi is considered by most historians to be a major historical figure.
Her historic speech broke down many barriers for the first time.
“hanged” is only used in the context of capital punishment.
“hung” is used in all other cases.
In that country, all people convicted of murder are hanged.
He hung from the branch by the tips of his fingers.
She hung her degree directly above and behind her desk.
They hung out at their favorite hang-out, the corner store.
These two abbreviations are often confused and/or used interchangeably.
“i.e.” means “that is to say…”. [from the Latin: “id est”]
“e.g.” means “for example…” [from the Latin “exempli gratia”]
Conference attendees came from North American countries only (i.e. Canada, Mexico, USA).
To belong, you need to hold an accreditation with a professional society (e.g. CA, RN, MD).
[Note: with e.g. DO NOT add “etc.” at the end of the list. It is a given that these are just examples and there will be others.]
“imply” means to indicate a particular point or meaning in speech or in writing.
“infer” means to make a conclusion based on something that had been said or written.
His statement is expected to clearly imply our future priorities.
Based on the thrust of her speech, we can infer that she is giving us the green light to proceed.
“include” refers to part of a whole.
“comprise” refers to all parts of something.
The Cabinet includes five newly elected representatives.
The committee is comprised of eight members; one from each corporate region.
in regard to
“in regard to” [NOT “in regards to”]; means “with reference to” something.
Equivalent phrases are: “with respect to” or “with regard to” or “as regards”.
He questioned her in regard to her whereabouts that night.
That decision was made with regard to historical religious practices.
With respect to the first paragraph, you are absolutely correct.
As regards our previous discussion, my position has not changed on that matter.
“intense” means “to a high degree” or “in an extreme way”.
“intensive” means to do something thoroughly; in a concentrated manner.
His focus on the task at hand was very intense.
Their training program was quite intensive.
This is non-standard and redundant. DO NOT use it. Instead, use “regardless”.
We are leaving tomorrow, regardless of the weather.
Regardless of her opinion, I am still going ahead with our plan.
That completes the third installment of this series. As I mentioned above, I’ll be making additional posts like this one — three or four letters of the alphabet at a time — every few months over the next year or so. The previous posts in this series can be found at: http://writinghelptools.com/blog/?p=616 and http://writinghelptools.com/blog/?p=655
By the way, if you have any comments or additional words to add (that start with the letters “g”, through “I”, please make your suggestions in the COMMENT BOX below.
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