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
I occasionally see imply and infer used as if they mean the same thing. They do not.
To imply is to signify or mean; to suggest without being explicitly stated. Synonyms are assume and include. “Jill implied that Jack lied about tripping and falling down the hill.”
To infer is to derive by reasoning, to conclude or judge from the evidence. Synonyms include deduce, reason, guess, speculate, surmise. “Jack inferred that Jill did not trust him.”
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
There are some words that cannot be qualified or compared because they are absolutes. The two most commonly abused absolutes are perfect and unique.
perfect (adjective and noun with accent on the first syllable; and verb with accent on the second) means conforming absolutely; complete beyond improvement; entirely without flaws. But you’ll hear people say, for example, “I had the most perfect birthday.” Just use perfect without most in front of it.
unique (adjective) means existing as the only one, having no equal, incomparable. I have seen it improperly paired with very, as in “a very unique dress.” Nope, don’t use very.
This is a flyer posted in my neighborhood:
I’m not sure why there are quotation marks around the word auction, unless this is some sort of fake auction — one that has a secret agenda that is known to only a few people. If this were a TV show, people would show up for the auction, but there would also be some drug dealers in the crowd who would clamor to buy the Precious Moments figurines because each one was actually stuffed full of cocaine.
Or, more likely, someone at the auction house just threw in those quotation marks because they didn’t know better.
This made me laugh:
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