Referring back to the last blog post “Commonly Misused Words”, we were able to see how some words we were saying, writing, or have heard, were in fact, being used in an incorrect manner. Some are misused because they are pronounced the same, while others, while sounding differently, got stuck in our heads with completely different definitions a long time ago. It’s happened to me on more than one occasion, typing out a word and thinking to myself, “Wait, am I spelling this right?” We’ve all been there! Let’s continue and see what other words from the remaining part of the alphabet are commonly misused.
Principal and Principle- “Principal” is the first or highest in rank, importance, value (e.g. Feared by most students, the principal is the highest authority at school), while “principle” is an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct, (e.g. Mr. Johnson expected his students to adhere to the principles he proposed).
Shear and Sheer- “Shear” refers to the act of removing by cutting or clipping with a sharp instrument (e.g. Carmen sheared her new plants for better growth), while “sheer” is an adjective meaning transparently thin (e.g. Some plant leaves are so thin that they are practically sheer).
Stationary and Stationery– The word “stationary” means having a fixed position or remaining in the same condition or state (e.g. Prices at the supermarket have remained stationary since last season), while “stationery” refers to writing materials, as pens, pencils, paper, and envelopes (e.g. Ignacio was sure to find stationery supplies at good prices in the supermarket this year).
Have these words confused you at one time or another? Fortunately, our translators research and investigate these and other commonly misused terms.
Most definitions taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/