Brian Clark of CopyBlogger has published the Inigo Montoya Guide to the 27 most commonly misused words. I know that at times, I have used words within blog posts that I feel I know the definitions to but may not have used the right term in the right situation. Glad to know I’m not the only one. Here are a few examples:
Adverse / Averse
Adverse means unfavorable. Averse means reluctant.
Fewer / Less
If you can count it, use fewer. If you can’t, use less.
“James has less incentive to do what I say.”
“Tony has fewer subscribers since he stopped blogging.”
This word is used incorrectly so much (including by me) it may be too late. But let’s make you smarter anyway. The rule is you only use hopefully if you’re describing the way someone spoke, appeared, or acted.
Smart: I hope she says yes.
Wrong: Hopefully, she says yes.
Wrong: Hopefully, the weather will be good.Smart: It is hoped that the weather cooperates.
Smart: She eyed the engagement ring hopefully.
Be sure to read the entire guide on CopyBlogger and if you’re like me, you’ll be printing this out to keep as a reference.
How about you though? Notice any words on that list that you admit to commonly misusing? Any words not on the list that drive you crazy with their incorrect usage?