These words are often confused because of their related meanings but differing spellings.
Affect is a verb meaning “to influence.”
Effect can be both a verb and a noun. (more…)Leave a response to “affect/effect”
Alter and altar can be easily confused because of their one-letter spelling difference. Usually writers know which meaning they want to convey, but they can’t remember which spelling goes with which word.
Alter (with an “e”) is to change or make something different. Altar (with an “a”) has the religious meaning of a place of sacrifice or center of worship.
Here’s a tip for remembering the difference between the two:
Alter is an action, so it requires effort; effort is a word that starts with the letter “e”.Leave a response to “alter/altar”
Though anecdote and antidote have very different definitions, they look and sound similar enough to be confusing.
An anecdote is a short narrative, often personal and used to illustrate a point.
Stand-up comedians often use humorous anecdotes as part of their shtick.
An antidote is something that remedies or relieves.
Leave a response to “anecdote/antidote”
“Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety.” – Jack Nicklaus
“Stay for awhile”… or “Stay for a while”?
Is a while (written as two words) correct, or should it be awhile (written as one word)? Both forms are correct, though it depends on how each is used in a sentence.
Object of a preposition:
A while (two words) should be used when while is serving as the object of a preposition:
Stay for a while. (For is the preposition.)
Awhile (one word) should be the choice when being used as an adverb in a sentence:
Though there is a difference between the two forms, it’s common to see them used interchangeably.Leave a response to “awhile/a while”
This is both a pronunciation and spelling issue. From hearing the mispronunciation, many assume that the word is “Chester drawers” (as if Chester were a brand name) and write it as such. But it is actually three words: “chest of drawers” (a chest made up of several drawers).Leave a response to “Chester drawers/chest of drawers”