Tag Archives: word usage

STOP!! Before You Press “Send,” Did You Use the Right Word?

08-10-2015 Word Cloud Graphic--FinalHow many times have you taken a quick glimpse at your message, and pressed the Send button only to discover later that a word in your message had been used incorrectly? The word you typed may have looked similar to the one you intended to use, and you know that the pronunciation of the two words is similar, but the meanings for the two words are very different.

Proofreading for thought content is very important, and the helpful list of words below along with their meanings should be added in to your writing tool kit.

Do – [meaning: to perform] – Example: When do you plan to make your decision?

Due – [meaning: to owe] – Example: The loan is due on July 1, 2017.

Dew – [meaning: moisture] – Example: The morning dew is heaviest in the summertime.

Elusive – [meaning: baffling; hard to catch] – Example: The reason for the disappearance of Flight 370 is still elusive.

Illusive – [meaning: misleading; unreal] – Example: Based on his previous performance, John’s hopes of getting promoted proved to be illusive.

Allusive – [meaning: hinting at] – Example: The mayor’s speech contained an allusive reference to city workers getting a pay raise next year.

Everyday – [meaning: ordinary] – Example: Cecil quickly learned the everyday tasks of his job.

Every day – [meaning: each day] – Example: John’s boss called the office every day to check on the progress of the Denton Project.

Farther – [meaning: at a greater distance; refers to actual distance] – Example: Mariah’s house is actually 5 miles farther from us.

Further – [meaning: to a greater extent; moreover, refers to figurative distance] – Example: If we want to reach a compromise, we need to discuss this issue further.

For – [meaning: use as a preposition] – Example: The message is for Bill.

Fore – [meaning: first; preceding; can be used in combination] – Example: The nurse gave Susie the injection in her forearm.

Four – [meaning: numeral] – Example: The customer bought four cookies.

Ideal – [meaning: standard of perfection] – Example: Gus is the ideal candidate for this position.

Idle – [meaning: unoccupied; not in use; without worth] – Example: The accident on the freeway caused many other drivers to sit idle in traffic.

Idol – [meaning: object of worship] – Example: B. B. King was a legendary idol to many blues fans.

Idyll – [meaning: a description of rural life; idealized, pastoral way of life] – Example: Marjorie was thrilled that Bakersfield was exactly the rural idyll she had imagined.

Its – [meaning: the possessive case of the pronoun it] – Example: The dog wagged its tail.

It’s – [meaning: the contraction for the words “it is” or “it has”] – Example: It’s been a grueling week because the deadlines were changed. It’s okay for the class to work in teams on the next assignment.

Lay – (v) [meaning: to place {hint: if you can use the word place, then use a form of this word}] Example: – Please lay your jacket on Jackie’s bed.

Lie – (n) a falsehood; (v) to recline; to tell an untruth – Example: Gregory told a lie to the arresting officer. The doctor told Patricia to lie down for at least an hour after taking the medication. You should not lie under oath.

Lye – (n) [meaning: a strong alkaline solution] – Example: Many years ago some consumer products contained lye.

Maybe – (adv.) [meaning “perhaps”] Example: If we don’t get to meet as a group today, maybe we can meet next Monday.

May be [meaning: (v)] Example: Although the numerical data in the report is correct, Sally may be revising the summary text information in the report.

To – [meaning: (prep.) (v) [Use “to” when you need to express “action or movement toward something or someone.” When used in this manner (with a noun or a pronoun), the word “to” functions as a preposition (a connector) and is part of a prepositional phrase = to + noun/pronoun] Example: John is moving to Chicago. [meaning: This form of “to” is also used with verbs to express action or state of being—to see, to write, to be, to have, etc. When used in this manner, it is part of an infinitive phrase = to + verb] Example: Jane will have to make other plans.

Too – (adv.) [meaning “in addition” or “also” or “more than enough”] Example: She, too, mentioned Mr. Smith’s recent performance.

Two – (n) (adj.) [meaning Use “two” when you need to express the figure “2” as a word.] Example: Sally brought two of her friends to the concert. Kristin two tickets to the dinner.

Win – (v) [meaning “to get something, by prize or contest” “to achieve a victory”] (n) an act of achieving victory in a contest or a game. Example: I am confident that our team will win the championship this year! Today’s court decision is a big win for our candidate!

When – (adv.) [meaning “at which time” “during which time”] Example: When did Jennifer join the group?

Source: The Gregg Reference Manual, 11th Edition, William A. Sabin, McGraw-Hill, 2011.

If you want to update your writing skills, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.



“Now there, their…they’re not all bad!”

When you need to show a person or object “in a location OR at a location,” use “there.”  Example:  There is a family-style restaurant on I-20 in Shreveport.

When you need to show that someone or something belongs to a group, use the plural possessive pronoun “their.”  Example:  Their mother is getting a promotion.

When you want to use a contraction for the words “they are,” use “they’re.”  Example:  They’re going to be moving to Santa Fe next spring.

For more information, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

(Photo courtesy of American Pregnancy Assoc. Irving, TX)