Common Errors Ch. 05byvelvetpie©
Errors occur every day in the manner in which words are used. Let's talk about some of the most common.
COUNCIL / COUNSEL
The word, COUNCIL, is a noun and means a group of people that pass laws, ordinances or other laws or standards. She had to go before the council for them to pass judgment on her or The council will take up the wetlands provisions next week are two examples of how to use this word.
COUNSEL is a noun. It can mean a lawyer that offers advice or the advice itself. A few examples of how to use this word correctly are: The counsel asked to approach the bench or His counsel provided answers for her.
ACCEDE / EXCEED
ACCEDE is a verb and means to agree. I accede with your wishes is an example of how to use the word.
The word, EXCEED, is a verb and means to go beyond what the standard is for that particular situation. A few examples are: Her father told her not to exceed her limit or The cop told her that she could not exceed the speed limit.
ENQUIRE / INQUIRE
This is a good example of a word that has the same meaning with either spelling but one is more common in another country. ENQUIRE / INQUIRE is a verb and means to ask questions about or seek information concerning something.
In the United Kingdom and other U.K. holdings (past and present), the word ENQUIRE is more commonly used. In the United States, the word INQUIRE is more commonly used.
LEAD / LED
LEAD is both a noun and a verb. In noun form, one of the many meanings of the word LEAD is a metal that is silvery in color. As a verb, it rhymes with the word REED and means to give someone or a group specific direction. Moses was chosen by God to lead his people out of bondage is a good example of how to use the verb version of the word.
LED is a verb and is the past tense of LEAD. A few examples are: I led the horse to water or He said that the people needed to be led.
DEFUSE / DIFFUSE
In its literal meaning, DEFUSE means to 'remove the fuse' or to remove whatever is present in a situation that could make or makes it volatile. DEFUSE is a verb and should be used as in this example: I told her to leave to defuse the situation.
DIFFUSE can be used as an adjective but its most common use is as a verb and means to disperse or spread something out. I turned on the fan to diffuse the smoke is a good example of proper usage of the verb version of this word. An example of adjective use would be: His diffuse behavior left us wondering if he was on drugs.
PEAK / PEEK / PIQUE
All three of the words are pronounced the same and rhyme with LEAK. The word PEAK means the highest point of something, either tangible or intangible. Some examples of the use of this word are: The peak of the mountain was covered with snow or He reached his peak and couldn't lose any more weight.
PEEK is a noun or a verb and means to take a quick look at someone or something. I took a peek at my Christmas present is an example of the correct usage of this word.
The word, PIQUE, is derived from the French language and means to stimulate. An example of the use of this word is: She wore the short skirt to pique his interest.
VARY / VERY
Both of these words are pronounced alike and rhyme with the word, MARY. VARY, in this form, is a verb and means to change. Sources of where the items are ordered vary from week to week is an example of this word.
VERY is an adverb or an adjective that describes the word the follows and adds a higher degree of the word. Some examples of this usage are: She is very beautiful or He is very busy.
DUAL / DUEL
This is another set of words with common pronunciation and they rhyme with the word MULE. The word, DUAL, is an adjective and means having two things that are alike or similar. The character, Molly, is a dual role in the movie is an example of how to correctly use the word.
A DUEL is a noun and can also be used as a verb and means to fight, usually with some specific ending in mind, sometimes death. It doesn't have to be a physical fight; it can be a competition as well. He challenged the stranger to a duel at sunrise or The race was going to be a duel between Gordon and Jarrett.