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Schott’s List of Often-Confused Words

Well, the words aren’t confused, but sometimes people who use them are. Avoid confusing the following words:

  • The CAPITOL building…is situated in the CAPITAL city.
  • The STATUE had such STATURE…there was a STATUTE to protect it.
  • Members of the COUNCIL…mocked the lawyers for their COUNSEL.
  • It is my guiding TENET…to overcharge my TENANTS.
  • Each business was a DISCRETE entity…so we had to be DISCREET.
  • A judge should be DISINTERESTED…but never UNINTERESTED.
  • The arrival of the EMINENT scientist…was thought to be IMMINENT.
  • I tried to AFFECT the jury’s decision…the EFFECT of which was a fine.
  • They FLAUNTED the fact…that they FLOUTED the law.
  • I was asked to FORWARD…the new FOREWORD I had written.
  • One should be WARY…of driving when WEARY.
  • I took a PEEK at the mountain PEAK…which had PIQUED my curiosity.
  • Poor weather meant the GUERILLAS shot…the GORILLAS in the mist.
  • Due to the RAIN throughout her REIGN…the Queen grips her REINS.
  • After FLOUNDERING about…he FOUNDERED beneath the waves.
  • The school PRINCIPAL…is a woman of few PRINCIPLES.
  • The vehicle delivering STATIONERY…was STATIONARY in the rush-hour traffic.
  • The COMPLIMENTARY wine…COMPLEMENTED the fish perfectly.
  • The police could not ELICIT a confession…about his ILLICIT activities.
  • The STRAIT of Hormuz…is far from STRAIGHT.
  • There was an ORDINANCE…against firing any ORDNANCE.
  • His company was INTOLERABLE…because he was so INTOLERANT.
  • Building SITES are splendid SIGHTS…so we CITE them in our guide.

Source: Schott’s Original Miscellany, Bloomsbury, 2003.

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