Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

10 words you've probably been misusing

Posted by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM
  • 11 Replies
1 mom liked this

10 Words That You've Probably Been Misusing

Tyler Vendetti

There are so many words in the English language that it’s not surprising that the definitions for some of them have gotten mixed up over the years. It’s possible that you’ve gone your entire life without realizing your mistakes. I’m sure people have noticed. One day, you were probably walking down the street, casually chatting with an old friend, and one of these words slipped out of your mouth. Before you can move on to your story about how Mufasa would actually make a very attractive human, your friend stops to correct your error, and suddenly, your whole life starts to feel like one giant lie. How long have you been using that word incorrectly, you wonder? How many angry Facebook rants have you ruined with your improper grammar? While I can’t give you an answer to those questions, I can at least provide you with a list of other tricky words so that you may never have to suffer from this embarrassment ever again:

1) Travesty

What you may think it means: a tragedy, an unfortunate event

What it actually means: a mockery; a parody

This one, I’ll admit, is my own personal error. For the longest time, I equated travesty with tragedy, mostly because in passing, they sound like the same word. It’s stupid, I know, but if you knew how many times I confused fetal position with beetle position, you wouldn’t be laughing. It’s a serious problem.

2) Ironic

What you may think it means: a funny coincidence

What it actually means: contrary to what you might expect

It’s not ironic that you bumped into a talking turtle in a sweater vest right after you told your friend how cool it would be to bump into a talking turtle in a sweater vest. It’s a coincidence, and believe it or not, those two words are not related. Also, you should probably lay off the drugs because I’m pretty sure animals shouldn’t be talking.

3) Peruse

What you may think it means: to skim or glance over something

What it actually means: to review something carefully/in-depth

How this definition got completely turned on its head, I’ll never know, but I’ll be sure never to say “I’m going to go peruse my math textbook” ever again, just in case someone overhears and tries to hold me to it under the real meaning.

4) Bemused

What you may think it means: amused

What it actually means: confused

Again, with the whole “words sounding alike” issue. I’m starting to think I just need hearing aids. This is getting out of hand.

5) Compelled

What you may think it means: to willingly do something, to feel like you need to do something

What it actually means: to be forced to do something (willingly or unwillingly)

The word you’re looking for is “impelled.” I agree, it doesn’t get enough attention.

6) Nauseous

What you may think it means: to feel sick

What it actually means: to cause nausea

When you eat too much ice cream and declare to your mom or the nearest adult, “I feel nauseous,” what you’re actually saying is that you are causing people around you to feel sick. Thanks, jerk. (For the record, “I’m nauseated” is the way to go.)

7) Conversate

What you may think it means: to hold a conversation

What it actually means: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

This word is a mix of conversation and converse, and doesn’t actually exist, like unicorns or YOUR DREAMS. (I’m kidding. Unicorns are totally real.)

8) Redundant

What you may think it means: repetitive

What it actually means: superfluous, able to be cut out

“Including this sentence is redundant because you already mentioned your love of Santa Claus in the previous paragraph.” This has always been my exposure to the word redundant, so it only makes sense that I would think repetitive was correct. I can’t be the only one? Right? RIGHT?

9) Enormity

What you may think it means: enormousness

What it actually means: extreme evil

I don’t know where the “extreme evil” thing came from (probably the Devil) but enormity makes more sense as enormousness in my mind.

10) Terrific

What you may think it means: awesome, fantastic

What it actually means: causing terror

Okay, so “causing terror” is more of an outdated definition but I still thought it was interesting. Maybe keep this fun fact in the back of your mind the next time you call your favorite camper, “Terrific Tommy,” because technically, a few decades ago, that might have been an insult. Unless instead of a camper, he’s a serial killer. In that case, go for it.

Info via DailyWritingTips.comCracked.com, and WriteItSideways.comImage viaGinnyTonkin.com.

by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
momofnatalie
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

How interesting!  I'm guilty of several of the errors, I will now say "I'm nausated!".  Thanks!

frndlyfn
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I did not know that about enormity, criminy.

LoveMyKBabies
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM
1) I never say 'travesty'.
2)I knew what 'ironic' meant (my English teacher used the song Ironic - Alannis Morisette to point out 'your doing it wrong').
3) I've never used the word 'peruse' but when I've read it, I thought the wrong meaning.
4) I don't use the word 'bemused', I say confused or amused lol.
5) I knew what 'compelled' meant.
6) I know 'nauseated' is the correct term, but still say 'nauseous'. Like when someone says a snake is 'poisonous' when it's actually 'venomous'. I still say poisonous.
7) I have never heard or used 'conversate' lmao.
8) I use 'redundant' correctly.
9) I use 'enormity' wrong.
10) I use 'terrific' wrong, though I already knew it's original meaning.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MamaJane
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 8:57 PM
My mind is blown.

Except for ironic. And no some good advice that you just didn't take is not ironic.
brownhoney21
by Ruby Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:00 PM

 Thanks,

critter_boo
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 9:30 PM
Thanks
deedee3849
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Very interesting! I had a few wrong!

ablackdolphin
by Platinum Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Love it!

SweetLuci
by on Jul. 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM

 Interesting.

MamaMandee
by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 1:31 AM
Interesting, thanks!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)