100 Words Almost Everyone Mixes Up or Mangles

By Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries (Editor)
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Paperback, 9780547395838, 128pp.)

Publication Date: July 2010

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Description

“You mean delegate, not relegate, right?”
 “I think the word is cachet, not cache.” At one time or another we’ve all suffered the embarrassment of having our remarks corrected by a family member, colleague, or stranger. 100 Words Almost Everyone Mixes Up or Mangles presents fifty pairs of words that people have trouble getting right and keeping straight—words that tend to get corrected when we’re least expecting it. These words include near-synonyms—words with subtle but important distinctions in meaning—like baleful vs. baneful, and effectual vs. efficacious. Other pairings bring together notorious sound-alikes, like faze (bother) vs. phase (stage), pour (put in fluid) vs. pore (read closely), and waive (forgo) vs. wave (say hello). The book also addresses some classic spelling blunders and “nonwords,” like beyond the pail, full reign, injust, and inobstrusive. Each word has a definition and a pronunciation, and most have etymologies explaining the word’s origin. The mix-ups themselves are described in fun-to-read notes that provide clear solutions to help readers avoid making needless, uncomfortable gaffes. 100 Words Almost Everyone Mixes Up or Mangles gives readers the chance to improve their command of words that are often heard but not so well expressed.




About the Author

The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries and of other reference titles published by Houghton Mifflin Company are trained lexicographers with a varied array of interests and expertise. Most of the editors hold graduate degrees and have studied at least one foreign language. Several have degrees in linguistics or in the history of the English language. Others have degrees in science or sometimes other disciplines. All the editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work in association with consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

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