The Write Stuff – Blog

Aug 14 2011 More Commonly Confused Words
More commonly confused words

This week I look at even more commonly confused words in tale of desperation and bloodshed.

COUNCILLOR vs COUNSELLOR

Councillor – a member of council:

With Barry’s unexpected departure, there was suddenly a vacancy open for a new shire councillor.

Counsellor – an advisor:

Barry’s friends thought perhaps he should have seen a counsellor instead of running away to avoid his problems.

ELICIT vs ILLICIT

Elicit – to call forth:

Following the astonishing discovery of his embezzlement, Barry managed to elicit much speculation and anger.

Illicit – something illegal

Of course, finding out Barry had been engaged in illicit conduct certainly explained his hasty departure!

GRISLY vs GRIZZLY

Grisly – gruesome, inspiring horror or disgust:

Eventually the grisly truth emerged; Barry had a rampant gambling problem and owed mob boss Killer Ken over $846,000 in unpaid gambling debt!!

Grizzly – streaked with grey:

Barry was now hiding in the South of France and had grown a grizzly beard to help disguise his appearance.

LIGHTENING vs LIGHTNING

Lightening – to decrease in weight or colour:

Barry also started lightening his hair to complete his new look.

Lightning – the discharge of electricity in the sky:

Despite Barry’s clever disguise, Killer Ken’s contacts found out where he was hiding and they took off after him like a bolt of lightning.

PRISE vs PRIZE

Prise – to force open:

After tracking Barry to a small apartment in St Tropez, Killer Ken ordered his thugs to prise open the door so he could get inside.

Prize – a thing of value:

At last, Killer Ken had found his prize; Barry sat inside the apartment with a look of resignation on his face.

TO vs TOO

To – a preposition; a word which links nouns, pronouns and phrases:

“You’re a hard man to track down”, declared Killer Ken. “We went to a great deal of trouble to find you.”

Too – excessively or “also”:

“It’s too bad it has to end this way”, Killer Ken continued, “but now we’re here, we’re going to get my money back and sort you out too!”

WHO’S vs WHOSE

Who’s – the shortened version of “who is” or “who has”:

Who’s got the answers to what happened next and who’s ever going to tell?

Whose – the possessive form of “who”:

We may never know whose gun fired first and whose blood was spilled on the floor…

And so ends our tale of Councilman Barry and mob boss Killer Ken.

While we may never know what happened in the end, you can rest assured that we’ll explore even more commonly confused words in the coming months.

Posted in Communication, Copywriting Tips by 3 comments

3 Responses to “More Commonly Confused Words”

  • Reply Adrian Brien Auto August 15, 2011at 12:20 am

    Some great tips, thanks for sharing!

    I find that often people get affect confused with effect.

    Affect = emotion / response e.g. her singing affected my mood .

    Effect = visual display e.g. light and sound effects.

    • Reply Anna Butler August 15, 2011at 12:28 am

      Thanks for your feedback, glad you liked it 🙂

      And yes, Affect/Effect  sure do trip a lot of people up, which is why I dedicated an entire blog post to them.

  • […] Creating a lot of confusion, however, is the possessive form of it and who. […]

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