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8 Commonly Misused Words (Slideshow)

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8 Commonly Misused Words (Slideshow)

 

People stray from the dictionary definition of words all the time. Myself included! Misusing words doesn’t say much about our intelligence, though! More likely, what these misused words exemplify is how language evolves and adapts over time.

Peruse

How it’s commonly used: casually read, skim over.

What it actually means: to read thoroughly.

The dictionary definition of peruse is almost the opposite of common usage. Well, that’s ironic! (Or is it?! More on irony later…) You don’t peruse a magazine at the beach, salon or doctor’s office. Rather, to peruse is to carefully consider a piece of writing.

See Also: 8 Spelling Mistakes Even Smart People Make

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

387 comments

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1:46PM PST on Jan 23, 2014

Peruse came as a surprise to me

1:39PM PST on Jan 23, 2014

A good list!
One interesting words: Something that can easily start burning is in British English inflammable - literally "may go into flames". In USA, the prefix in- was mistakenly interpreted as 'not', as in inexplicable - so American English uses the word 'flammable' för BE 'inflammable', while the American English word 'inflammable' means it will NOT catch fire!

7:05AM PST on Jan 7, 2014

Very interesting! Thanks!

12:04AM PST on Dec 3, 2013

Good article! I cringe when I see incorrect grammar and poor spelling. Spell check is one of the worst tools to use as it corrects some spelling errors, but at the same time it often uses a word that is spelled the same, but with a different meaning,,,,the there, their, they're... for example..

4:02AM PST on Nov 13, 2013

"I do not think that word means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya

3:48AM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Considering how frequently plethora is used, is it not ironic that it means excessive?

4:01PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

9:56PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

I'll add one....hopefully. Most people use it to mean "I hope", but its an adverb. Example: "hopefully the sun will shine", should be, "I hope the sun will shine". The sun cannot shine "hopefully", any more than it can shine sadly, neatly, maternally, tidily or in any other manner.

1:53PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

What drives me crazy is when someone says 'could of' ' instead of the correct 'could have.'

5:06AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Thanks!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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