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Improve Your Grammar, Impress Your Friends





English grammar can be tricky, and, a lot of times, the words that sound right are actually wrong.
While I certainly am not a master of the English Language, I find myself cringing often at the way certain words are misused, specifically in emails and written documents. To me, it is a distraction that causes the person to whom I am conversing to appear in a negative light.
Often, it's the words that we think we’re using correctly that can cause the biggest stumbles . Today I've picked out three pairs of words that cause many people trouble in their usage to look at with you.
So, before you send your next email, or attach your resume to a document, please take a moment to consider these common issues many of us have with wording, and make some changes as needed:
Thank you to Google for giving critical feedback on the correct usage in some cases, as I wanted to be clear on them myself!
Accept vs. Except
These two words sound similar but have very different meanings. Accept, by definition, means to receive something willingly: “His teacher accepted his explanation for being tardy
Except signifies exclusion: “I can attend every home game in my ticket package except the one next Tuesday.”
I found this tip helpful for remembering which to use: both except and exclusion begin with ex.


Ironic vs. Coincidental

I hear people misuse "ironic" all the time. If your dog trips you and you break your arm the day before going mountain climbing, that’s not ironic—it’s coincidental (bad Fido!).
Ironic has several meanings, but they all involve a type of reversal of what was expected. Verbal irony is when a person says one thing but clearly means another. Situational irony is when a result is the opposite of what was expected.
In “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry, Jim sells his watch to buy combs for his wife’s hair, and she sells her hair to buy a chain for Jim’s watch. Each character sold something precious to buy a gift for the other, but those gifts were intended for what the other person sold. That is irony.


Nauseous vs. Nauseated
Nauseous has been misused so often that the incorrect usage is accepted in many cases. Still, there is a difference. 
Nauseous
 means causing nausea; nauseated means experiencing nausea. 
So, if
 you say "I feel nauseous" what you're actually telling everyone is that you make them sick!
Now what you know the differences in these words, use them correctly when you are speaking, and especially when you are writing. It will show that you have a much firmer grip on the English language than many people around you...

Which should not make you nauseated at all!


DK

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