A year or two ago, there was a massive storm that ripped through Virginia. Afterward, many of us heard the word derecho for the first time.
Look carefully at the words ingenious and ingenuous. Do you know the difference? Both are adjectives, but they have completely different meanings and are also pronounced differently.
ingenious – having genius; brilliant; original and imaginative
ingenuous – lacking sophistication; straightforward; artless; naive; candid
At first glance one might think that noisome had something to do with noise and odious had something to do with odor, but that’s not the case.
noisome (adjective) offensive or disgusting, as an odor; harmful; noxious; stinking: noisome factory emissions
noisy (adjective) loud, harsh, or confused sounds; clamorous; tumultuous; vociferous: noisy football fans
odious (adjective) arousing hatred; abhorrent; repugnant; abominable; loathsome, detestable: an odious kidnapper
odorous (adjective) having a distinctive odor; smelly: an odorous stockyard
I got an email from my cell phone provider last week that started off: “To better service you…”
That should be serve you, not service you. Serve is the verb; service is a noun, adjective, and a verb with an object. You can service a car or, if you are being vulgar, one person can service another person, as in prostitution..
I was reading a news story about the tragic sinking of the HMS Bounty and death of her captain and a crew member when I came across this line:
… An ancestor of the 1789 mutiny of the original Bounty, Fletcher Christian, [Claudine Christian] had…
What the line above should have said was … A descendant of the 1789 mutiny…
An ancestor is relative who lived before you. It is a person from whom one is descended.
A descendant is someone descended from an ancestor; offspring.
I’ve been asked why something is jury rigged and not “jerry rigged.”
Jury rig was originally a nautical term that meant a replacement mast improvised in case of damage or loss of the original mast. That led to its current meaning of makeshift repairs or temporary contrivances, made with only the tools and materials that happen to be on hand.
“Jerry rig” does not have a meaning and is merely a mix up of jerry and jury.
For Part 1 (my explanation), click here.
Envelope vs. envelop — I nearly got this one wrong recently. Let’s take a look at both words.
A friend asked me a while back to talk about yoke vs. yolk, as she had seen them misused somewhere.
This is a yolk: