Friday, November 12, 2010

COMMON MISUSES OF WORDS




Today, I thought I’d share some words and/or phrases that writers tend to mix up when writing. Sometimes the story they have in their head is so compelling they write away and don't pay attention to word choice. Now I'm not talking about strong or weak verbs here, or even a more descriptive word. I'm talking about words that some of us get mixed up.

Hope these examples help you. 

1.     Based on vs. on the basis of
a.     based on – is properly used when referring to a published source.
ie. The lecture was based on his memoir.

2.     On the basis of
a.     is the preferred choice in other constructions
ie. Her conclusion was finalized on the basis of her research.

3.     Between
a.     implies two persons or things
ie. She chose between chocolate cake and a hot fudge sundae.

4.     Among
a.     implies more than two
ie. The oral report was divided among four students.

**however, if a reciprocal relationship is being expressed between one thing and several others, as in planning an event, between is the acceptable usage.

The agreement for the bridal shower was reached between the five attendants.

5.     Effect
a.     a noun meaning, an outward sign or result
ie. The poisonous plant had a numbing effect on the victim.

6.     Effected
a.     a verb meaning to accomplish
ie. Progress can be effected by hard work.

7.     Affect
a.     almost always used as a verb meaning to influence
ie. The rain did not affect the game.


Source* - The Keys to Effective Editing – Jackie Landis

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