Spelling & Grammar

The difference between “incidences” and “incidents”

Let’s say you’re in a meeting when suddenly the door bursts open and a clown comes dancing into the room. You might go home and talk about that incident over dinner. Let’s say it happens again the next day. At dinner, you might say, “I can’t believe there were two incidences of that clown interrupting the …

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Is it “pour over” or “pore over”?

You may have read about someone “pouring over” a book, implying that they’re studying its pages intently. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. Someone “pouring over” their book is likely dumping the contents of a watering can over it. It’s a common mistake, but the correct phrase is “pore over.” It’s not a very commonly used word in …

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“Discreet” vs “discrete”

Discrete is just an alternate spelling of discreet, you might think. And it’s understandable, what with all the Canadian, British and American spelling differences where an E is moved here, or a U inserted there. However, in this case, discrete and discreet are two entirely different words. Here’s the difference between them: Discrete means distinct or separate. (The organization …

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“Weary” vs “wary”

This word confusion is commonly seen, but it’s also one with a very simple explanation. Weary = tired, exhausted Wary = unsure, cautious So, saying “I was weary of attending the party” is correct only if you’re tired of attending the party, but not if you’re having second thoughts or hesitation about attending the party. …

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The difference between “you and I” and “you and me”

If you’re like me, you grew up hearing your parents say something like, “It’s ‘Mark and I’, dear.” Well I’m here to tell you that even in adulthood, it still feels good to learn that your parents don’t know everything. The proper usage of “you and I” Your parents weren’t entirely wrong. Using “and I” …

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Anyway/any way and everyday/every day

The four words “anyway,” “any way,” “everyday” and “every day” illustrate for me just how precise and seemingly random the English language can be. It’s not always easy to tell which usage is correct. Specifically, getting “everyday” and “every day” mixed up is so common, I bet many people don’t even realize they mean two …

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