That Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

Introduction: “Some people have a way with words.” Steven Gimbel, Isn’t That Clever: A Philosophical Account of Humor and Comedy (New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2018), 99.

a priori: “Setting an a priori date.” “Security Council Calls For End to Ethnic Violence in Kosovo, Support For Effort Towards Province-Wide Elections.” United Nations, March 16, 2001.

abjure/adjure: “vegans adjure violence.” “Politics on Your Plate,” in The Rhetoric of Food: Discourse, Materiality, and Power (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2012), 54.

abrogate/arrogate: “has abrogated to itself.”“Establishing a US State Religion.” American Thinker, January 10, 2014.

“to arrogate vnto himselfe.” Richard Smith, The Life of the Most Honourable and Vertuous Lady the Lady Magdalen Viscountesse Montague, trans. J. C. Fursdon (St. Omer: English College Press, 1627).

adverse/averse: “Averse Reaction.”“Cat Has Averse Reaction to Liquid in Commercial Food.” Washington Post, November 5, 2014.

“situation of the genitalls is averse.” Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Or, Enquiries Into Very Many Received Tenents, and Commonly Presumed Truths (A. Miller: London, 1650), 3: 87.

affect/effect: “Effected Her Health.” “This Woman Practiced Gratitude for A Year and Was Stunned By How It Effected Her Health.” Business Insider Australia, August 12, 2016. “an affect on wildlife.” “Bird Migration Early Along the Lakeshore.” Fox 11 News, March 10, 2017.

all together/altogether: “are just being—altogether now—politically correct.” “Giving the Game Away: Trump Argues to Preserve Racist Reds**** Brand.” The Nation, November 7, 2016.

allude/elude: “he eluded to possible legal action.” “Independent Rapper Jonathan Emile Writes Open Letter to Kendrick Lamar About Fighting TDE In Court.” XXL Magazine, March 16, 2017. “A witch or hagg . . . eluded.” W. West Symbolæogr.: 2nd Pt. ii. §1.

allusion/illusion: “create an allusion.” “Noh Theater: The World’s Oldest Stage Tradition Is Popping Up Everywhere.” Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2016.

alternate/alternative: “alternately, the distinction.” “Stop Freaking Out About Rotten Tomatoes Scores.” GQ, June 1, 2017.

ambivalent: “Ambivalent About Ambivalence,” “a certain amount of ambivalence.” “Don’t Be Ambivalent About Ambivalence” Huffington Post, October 10, 2013.

“giving an ambivalent character.” Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology, edited by Constance Ellen Long Baillière (London: Tindall and Cox, 1917), 200

“has always had an ambivalent attitude.” Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals (New York: Horace Liveright, 1929), 176.

ameliorate: “attempt to ameliorate.” “Cuts to Social Housing Punish the Poorest Americans at the Worst Time.” The Guardian, December 22, 2011.

“Religion is to meliorate.” R. Heber, The whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D. with a life of the author and a critical examination of his writings, revised and corrected by C. P. Eden (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1859), 591.

amenable/amendable: “he was amendable to the idea.” “‘The Matrix 4’ News: Keanu Reeves to Reprise Role Only If the Wachowskis Return to Direct Film.” Mstars News, March 7, 2017.

amiable/amicable: “Amicable Woman.” “America’s Search For Meming.” NPR, June 30, 2014.

anchors away/anchors aweigh: “As the band played . . . ‘Anchors Away’.” “Hundreds Turn Out for Omaha National Cemetery’s First Memorial Day Service.” Omaha World Herald, May 30, 2017. “What is the Anchor away?” “Proper Sea tearmes for dividing the company at Sea, and stearing, sayling, or moring a Ship in faire weather, or in a storme” (chapter 9), in Captain John Smith, A Sea Grammar (London: John Haviland, 1627).

apocryphal: “an apocryphal moment.” “Will Durst: The Tsunami of Gender Transition.” The Baxter Bulletin, May 11, 2015.

“A whoresonne, vpstart, Apocryphall Captayne.” Ben Jonson, The Alchemist, act 1, scene 1.

appraise/apprise: “the network kept . . . his agent appraised.” “Phil Simms Was Blindsided by CBS’s Move to Tony Romo, Son Says.” MSN, April 6, 2017.

ascent/assent: “watching the assent.” Bryn Mawr College Library photograph collection, listing number P.9480 1004.

“September 15, 1805.” Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

assure/ensure/insure: “I ensured him.” Soul Mates (New York: Page Publishing, Inc., 2014).

baited breath/bated breath: “wait with baited breath.” TMZ.com, May 19, 2017.

“With bated breath and whispering humbleness.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, act 1, scene 3, line 124

barter/haggle: “in the haggle . . . be bartered down.” “Our Top 7 Tips to Barter Like A Pro on Your RTW Trip.” AirTreks, September 30, 2016.

begrudgingly/grudgingly: “begrudgingly admit.” “Martin Shkreli’s Lawyer: ‘Maybe He’s Nuts But That Doesn’t Make Him Guilty.’” CNN, June 28, 2017.

begs the question: “begs the question.” “Dershowitz: Mueller’s Special Counsel Appointment Begs the Question—Are Our Civil Liberties Now At Risk?” FOX News, May 20, 2017.

begs the question: trying to prove something based on an unproved premise.” Thomas Reid, Essays on the Active Powers of Man (London: John Bell, and G. G. J. & J. Robinson, 1788), 296.

bemused/amused: “bemused demeanor.” “Candidates Clash Over Character and Policy.” New York Times, October 16, 2008.

“Word to Watch: ‘Bemused’.” “Bemused? Bewildering.” New York Times After Deadline blog, November 10, 2008.

bimonthly/biweekly: “When a newspaper is published ‘bi-weekly.’” “’New York’ Mag & the Cruel Double Meaning of ‘Biweekly.’” The Daily Beast, February 2, 2013.

chronic: “extremely chronic financial situation.” “O’Brien: INM in ‘Chronic’ State.” Irish Examiner, June 6, 2011.

cliché/clichéd: “Changing rooms are so cliché.” “Changing Rooms Are So Cliché: Courtney Stodden’s Pal Strips in Middle of Shop.” Daily Star, July 7, 2016.

climatic/climactic: “one hell of a climatic day.” “Be a Part of Cosmo’s International Don’t Fake It Day.” Cosmopolitan, October 19, 2011. –

compel/impel: “woman felt compelled.” “Why An Australian Woman Felt Compelled to Go Door to Door Campaigning for Hillary Clinton.” The Sydney Morning Herald, November 7, 2016.

“Compelled to Vote.” “Why I Now Feel Compelled to Vote for Trump.” Townhall, October 23, 2016. https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2016/10/23/why-i-now-feel-compelled-to-vote-for-trump-n2235899.

complacent/complaisant: “we cannot afford to be complaisant.” “A Year Without Polio: Angola Celebrates Victory With A Vision to Eradicate.” UNICEF.org, August 10, 2012.

complementary/complimentary: “for a complementary meal.” “Moms Eat Free at Hooters on Mother’s Day.” RestaurantNews.com, April 29, 2016.

comprise: “comprised of members.” “Senate Republicans Just Unveiled the ‘Skinny Repeal Bill.’ Here’s What It Would Do.” Time, July 27, 2017.

contiguous: “the contiguous United States.” “Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Conterminous United States.” Data.gov, December 11, 2017.

“contiguous means not merely ‘close to’ or ‘near,’ but ‘abutting; sharing a boundary.’” Bryan A. Garner, The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000),

copyright/copywrite: “copywritten in 1951.” Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 159;

“copywrite my book.” “Should I Copywrite My Book Before or After I Send It to Be Edited?” Yahoo! Answers, 2011.

crescendo: “reached a crescendo.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 71

“a crescendo is the process of getting louder.” “A Crescendo of Errors.” New York Times, July 28, 2013.

decimate: “Pumpkin Completely Decimated a Truck.” “A 1,200-Pound Pumpkin Completely Decimated A Truck, Just for Fun.” Mashable, October 14, 2014.

“How fussy can you get?” William and Mary Morris, Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage, 2nd ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), 160.

definitive/definite: “to get more definitive. . . . a real definitive idea.” “Orioles Pregame Briefing: Britton in the House, Jimenez Back in the Rotation and More.” Baltimore Sun, June 16, 2017.

“I may nat yeve diffynytyf sentence.” Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Physician’s Tale” (line 172), in The Canterbury Tales.

deprecate/depreciate: “yet deprecate agitation.” “(1857) Frederick Douglass, ‘If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress.’”

“yet depreciate agitation.” Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience, edited by Manning Marable (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 216.

dichotomy: “the common dichotomy . . . a three-way dichotomy.” “Behavioral Equity.” PDF.

discomfit/discomfort: “to make the discomfit go away.” “Making Sense of Share Price Moves to Buy Low and Sell High.” Forbes, July 1, 2016.

discreet/discrete: “designers offer discrete ways.” “Fashion Designers Offer Discrete Ways for Women to Carry Firearms.” Chattanooga Times Free Press, November 1, 2016.

“a discrete short sleeve.” Product details on Dria dress. .pronovias.com

disinterested/uninterested: “Seems So Disinterested.” “Kylie Jenner Seems So Disinterested in Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds at the Met Gala.” ET Online, May 2, 2017.

economic/economical: “Inheriting an Economical Crisis?” loftuswealthstrategies.com, January 27, 2017.

“Corpse hotels are more economical than large funeral homes.” “The Crematory Is Booked? Japan Offers Corpse Hotels.” Seattle Times, July 1, 2017.

elicit/illicit: “policy for elicit drugs.” British Medical Journal, July 6, 2010.

“it’s hard to ‘elicit’ an ‘illicit’ usage, nowadays.” “Illicit and Elicit, Explicit.” Columbia Journalism Review, September/October issue, 2015.

“a song [that] even illicted a response.” wlrn.org/post/jay-z-stirs-passions-about-cuba-new-song.

elide: “Tories subliminally elide these changes.” “The Tory Retreat from the Family.” The Guardian, April 12, 2010.

“deciding to use ‘elide in that role.” “Errors and Omissions: When Words Acquire New Meanings, It’s Best Not to Stand in the Way.” Independent, November 16, 2012.

emigrate/immigrate: “Chen emigrated to the United States.” “The U.S. Patent System Is Broken, Says the Inventor of the Hoverboard.” Forbes, January 31, 2018.

eminent/immanent/imminent: “Is War Eminent.” “Is War Eminent on the Korean Peninsula?” American Urban Radio Network, April 19, 2017.

“Definition of ‘Immanent Threat’.” “US Confusion over Definition of ‘Immanent Threat’ Enables Abuse of Executive Power.” The Blaze, June 6, 2016.

“immanentize the eschaton.” “Troy Senik: Your Attention, Please, Mr. President.” Orange County Register, November 18, 2013.

enervated: “reaching hilariously enervated levels.” “Review: ‘Focus Group Play’ a Darkly Comic Take On Marketing Research.” Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2012.

enormity/enormous: “the enormity of the crowds.” “Crowd Sizes Matter to the Media Only When the Cause Is Liberal.” National Review,January 21, 2107.

epicenter: “at the epicenter.” “Lafayette County, Florida: Where Opportunity Knocks.” VisitFlorida. “The epicentre seems to have been.” James Joyce, Ulysses (Paris: Sylvia Beach, 1922), 332.

epitaph/epithet: landlord used racial epitaphs.” “ADL AUDIT: Anti-Semitic Incidents Decline; Disturbing Trend of Epithets, Vandalism Against Jews.” Anti-Defamation League, March 31, 2014. “wind and rain sang an epicedium.” Dean Koontz, Twilight Eyes (New York: Berkley Books, 1987), 185.

eponymous: “His first record, the eponymous Bob Dylan.” “Did Bob Dylan Crib from SparkNotes for His Nobel Lecture?” Washington Post, June 14, 2017.

“say what we mean without using ‘eponymous’.” “Words We Love Too Much.” New York Times After Deadline blog, September 14, 2010.

facetious/sarcastic: “Seinfeld says to the camera with a facetious smile.” “Obama Cracks Up Seinfeld on ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’.” MSNBC, December 31, 2015.

factoid: “an all-important teaser of a factoid.” “Prince George and Princess Charlotte Will Play Extremely Important Roles in Aunt Pippa’s Wedding.” Time, April 10, 2017.

“facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper.” Norman Mailer, Marilyn (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1973), 18.

farther/further: “that couldn’t be farther from the truth.” “The No. 1 Trait That Great Employees Share, according to Self-Made Millionaire Marcus Lemonis.” CNBC, June 12, 2017.

ferment/foment: “out of the foment of the mid-nineteenth century.” “Getting into Valhalla.” The Economist, June 23, 2016.

“the present foment in Europe.” Quoted in Bernard Mayo, Jefferson Himself: The Personal Narrative of a Many-Sided American (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1988), 184.

firmament: “the ball comes into contact with the firmament.” “John Madden Football ’92 Review—Sega Megadrive.” PDF scan, Mean Machines Issue 15, 20.

flair/flare: “with a flare for controversy.” “Kanye West’s Famous Video: Is It Art?” The Guardian, June 28, 2016.

flammable/inflammable: “Inflammable Means Flammable?” “Trilogy of Error” (episode 18, season 12, aired April 29, 2001). .

flaunt/flout: “openly flaunt the rule of law.” “Trump and Mussolini: The Same, Only Different? Eleven Key Lessons from Historical Fascism.” Salon, March 5, 2017.

flounder/founder: “the ship floundered and sank.” “The George Law Ship Model.” Arago, March 20, 2006.

“Yankees Continue to Flounder” MSN, May 25, 2015.

“Yankees’ Foundering Lineup.” “Powerless Alex Biggest Player in Yankees’ Foundering Lineup.” Sportsnet, May 10, 2011.

foreword/forward: “the forward of the book.” “Fans Call Out Misty Copeland for New Photo.” FOX News, September 26, 2016.

fortuitous: “it’s fortuitous.” “Glendale’s Davis Signs with Los Angeles Chargers.” Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2017.

from whence/whence: “into the fiery chasm from whence it came.” Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, directed by Peter Jackson (2001; Los Angeles, CA: New Line Home Entertainment, 2002), DVD;

“If you use this, you are a dick. See whence.” “From Whence” Urban Dictionary, April 20, 2006.

fulsome: “Stylish Design and Fulsome Bass.” “Stylish Design and Fulsome Bass Makes for an Ideal Wireless Speaker.” Forbes, March 13, 2017.

grisly/grizzly: “the grizzly horror.” “Romney Finally Wins GOP’s Game of Thrones.” Huffington Post, April 12, 2012.

historic/historical: “an historical day.” “FBN Anchor Nicole Petallides on the Market’s 1,000 Point Spine-Chilling Slide.” Wall Street Pit, May 7, 2010.

home in/hone in: “Honing In On.” “Home Capital Honing In on New CEO, CFO.” Toronto.com, June 30, 2017.

hopefully: “Mayor Offers $32 Million Plan to Ice Some Rats. Hopefully.” New York Times, July 12, 2017.

hurdle/hurtle: “hurdling down.” “Scientists Reveal Mechanism of Giant Plasma Solar ‘Rainstorms’.” IFL Science.

hypothesis: “That’s my hypothesis.” “Movie of the Week: My Neighbor Totoro.” Cinapse, April 2, 2014.

“Hypothesis . . . ‘The worst science word ever!’” “Three Science Words We Should Stop Using.” Wired, March 27, 2013.

hysterical/hilarious: “Hysterical Comedy Opens.” “Ken Ludwig’s Hysterical Comedy Opens in Santa Paula.” Santa Paula Times, November 17, 2010.

impact: “what it impacts on us and how it impacts around the world.” William J. Clinton, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States William J. Clinton January 1 to June 30, 1999, 435.

impending/pending: “my impending marriage.” “On Feminism, Marriage, Equality, and My Impending Marriage.” Offbeat Bride, December 12, 2017.

“impending trees.” Public Documents Printed By Order of the Senate of the United States, Second Session of the Twenty-Eighth Congress, Begun and Held at the City of Washington, December 2, 1844, vol I, 1.274.

“Ellen senses impending doom.” Lord of the Far Island. California State Library Braille & Talking Book Library Catalog.

imply/infer: “with a sly racial commentary inferred.” “‘Good Time’: Film Review | Cannes 2017.” Hollywood Reporter, May 25, 2017.

in regard to: “US in ‘good position’.” “Trump: US in ‘Good Position’ in Regards to North Korea.” ABC News, April, 2017.

incredulous/incredible: “The Pope, whos Sight is incredulous.” Gilbert Burnet, A History of the Reformation of the Church of England, vol. 3, part 2 (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1816), 49; “No obstacle, no incredulous or unsafe circumstance.” William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, act 3, scene 4, lines 74–75.

ingenious/ingenuous: “come up with an ingenious way.” “Current Thinking.” The Economist,October 29, 2009.

The Economist proclaimed [it] ‘an ingenuous way of using the heat of the sun.’” CME Hall of Fame awards website.

“Yf their Sonnes be ingenous.” William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost, act 4, scene 2, line 72.

inherent/inherit: “the depravity inherit in the system.” “Attack on Worker Unprecedented, Silence Is Not an Option.” Focus on Socialism, February 19, 2010.

“faulty translations that are inherit within it.” “Interesting Facts about the 1611 James Version of the Bible.” PDF, final edition, 2003.

inter/intern: “[Kim Il-Sung’s] body is interned.” “Who Is Kim Il-Sung? North Korea Celebrates Kim Jong-Un’s Grandfather on Day of the Sun.” Express,April 15, 2017.

ironic: “It’s ironic that we rush through.” Drew Barrymore, Wildflower (New York: Dutton, 2015), 217. “the victim of an irony.” George Carlin, Braindroppings (New York: Comedy Concepts/Hyperion, 1997), 116.

jealous/envious: “I am so jealous of your house.” “How to Shine the Light of Coaching into the Shadows of Fear.” Forbes, December 8, 2016.

just deserts: “they will get their just desserts.” “When Hatred of Trump Leads to Disdain for Debate,” Washington Examiner, February 5, 2018;

“according to desert.” “Desert.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, October 9, 2015.

less/fewer: “employing less people.” “A Great Majority of Our Nation’s Small Business Owners Are Old, White Men.” Washington Post, February 28, 2017.

limn: “allows her to limn everything.” “Ann Dowd Talks ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Leftovers,’ Battling Stage Fright and Learning from Nuns.” Variety, June 21, 2017.

“Opposing votes limn difference in race,” “James Parker called it a ‘disgusting verb,’” “David Foster Wallace said using it was ‘just off-the-charts pretentious,’” ‘“Ben Yagoda said it ‘had never been said aloud in the history of English,’” “Michael Dirda described it as an ‘ugly, pushy’ word.” “Limning a Controversy.” Boston.com, September 19, 2010.

New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani.” “Michiko Kakutani Will Not Give Up ‘limn’.” Salon, August 17, 2011.

literally/figuratively: “they literally kiss.” “Hannity: CNN ‘Literally’ Kisses Hillary Clinton’s A–.” Politico, August 16, 2016.

“He literally glowed.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 71.

loath/loathe: “I am loathe to do that.” “Schools May Carry Deficit Into Next Year.” Berkeley Daily Planet, May 24, 2002.

“She lyueth looþ of hir lyf.” Chaucer’s Translation of Boethius’s “de Consolatione Philosophiæ.” Edited by Richard Morris from the additional ms. 10,340 in the British Museum collated with Cambridge University Library ms. Ii.3.21. Published for the Early English Text Society. (London: N. Trübner & Co., 1868).

luxuriant/luxurious: “peaceful and luxuriant Hotel La Colombière.” Ad for Hotel La Colombière.

meretricious/meritorious: “the meretricious blogger.” “Life on the Content Farm: It’s a Blog Eat Blog World Out There.” Huffington Post, March 13, 2012.

“Delight in Meretricious Embracements.” Sir Francis Bacon, “The New Atlantis,” in Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Natural History in Ten Centuries (London: William Lee, 1670), 20.

meteor/meteorite: “Russian meteorite.” “Did UFO ‘Hit’ Russian Meteorite Blasting It to Smithereens? Conspiracy Theorists’ Extraordinary Claim After New Footage Emerges.” Daily Mail, February 28, 2013.

“meteors are only that flash of light.” Hubble Site web site, FAQ.

methodology: “reliable authentication methodologies.” Congressional Record (Senate), May 6, 1998, p. 8227.

mitigate/militate: “help mitigate the effects.” “Marine Reserves Help Mitigate Against Climate Change, Say Scientists.” Phys.org, June 5, 2017.

momentarily: “operator will be with you momentarily.” “Man Calls 911 to Report Masked Robbers at Bank, Put On Hold.” NBC New York, December 30, 2015.

“you may expect them momentarily.” Augusta Jane Evans, Vashti; or, Until Death Us Do Part (New York: A. L. Burt Company, Publishers, 1869), 149.

moot: “the fact . . . was moot.” “Cowboys Dodge Bullet After Botched Onside Kick Against Redskins.” Sporting News, September 18, 2016.

myself: “my constituents and myself.” “Controversial Versailles Bypass Not Included in Gov. Bevin’s Recommended Road Plan.” Lexington Herald Leader, January 30, 2016.

Susan Ratcliffe, Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations, 4th ed. (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011), 334.

nauseated/nauseous: “makes me ‘mildly nauseous.’” “FBI’s Comet: It Makes Me ‘Mildly Nauseous’ to Think I May Have Affected Election.” CNBC, May 3, 2017.

noisome/noisy: “good to hear the noisome sounds.” Siloam Baptist Church web site (since removed).

nonplussed: “he would stand there nonplussed.” “First Step to Being the Man.” New York Post, August 22, 2007

notoriety: “notoriety in the sports medicine world.” “Bulls Announce Team Medical Staff.” Our Sports Central, October 11, 2013.

obviate: “apologies for obviating the obvious.” “Alpha: Myth.” Skidmore College, last modified October 17, 2005.

“. . . to obviat and resist to this maist wickit interpryise.” David Masson, The Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. 3: 1575–1585 (Edinburgh, Scotland: HM General Register House, 1880), 585;

Certain pronouns . . . obviate the necessity.” Alexander Bain, LL.D., A Higher English Grammar (Aberdeen, Scotland: A. King and Co., Type Music and Classical Printers, 1879), 25.

opportune/opportunistic: “an opportunistic slimeball.” “You Really Wouldn’t Have Wanted to Know This Couple.” Winnipeg Free Press, August 16, 2009.

ordinance/ordnance: “Explosive Ordinance Disposal.” Ordinance vs. Ordnance, Fact vs. Fiction.” KUEditing, June 12, 2011.

panacea: “the ‘universal panacea.’” “What Aloe Vera Does to Your Body: Why the Egyptians Called It the Plant of Immortality.” RealFarmacy.com.

“The Secret History of Inflation: From Black Wednesday to Brexit.” Guardian, May 7, 2017.

pandemic/epidemic/endemic: “the drug pandemic.” “Lipstick Under My Burkha.” CNN, February 24, 2017.

parameter: “a parameter of national prosperity.” “Karachi Is Parameter of National Prosperity: Zubair.” The Nation, May 27, 2017.

pejorative: “the word ‘terrorist’ is a perjorative term.” “‘Terrorist’ a Perjorative Term.” Honest Reporting, December 15, 2004.

penultimate/ultimate: “the penultimate American president.” “Daniel Day-Lewis Set to Play President Abraham Lincoln.” Irish Central, November 22, 2010.

penumbra: “a penumbra of reality television.” “48 Hours with the Media Troll Who Is Now Part of the White House Press Corps.” Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo!, April 28, 2017.

perpetrate/perpetuate: “Perpetuate a Fraud.” “Watch Katie Couric Perpetuate a Fraud.” Before It’s News, May 26, 2016.

“perpetuated his fraud.” “Allen Stanford Gets 110 Years for Orchestrating $7 Billion Investment Fraud Scheme.” FBI Archives, June 14, 2012.

perquisite/prerequisite: “perquisites for the course.” “Economics 700: Quantitative Methods in Economics–Fall 2013.” UNC Course Syllabus PDF.

“personal corporate prerequisites.” Edward P. Welch, Robert S. Saunders, Allison L. Land, Jennifer C. Voss, Andrew J. Turezyn, Folk on the Delaware General Corporation Law, 2016 ed. (New York: Wolters Kluwer, 2016),

per se: “has called it off, per se.” “Mike Mullen: Syrian Way Will Continue Until Russia and US ‘Get Together’ Politically.” RealClear Politics, April 11, 2017.

“they weren’t technically ‘military parades,’ per say.” “Turns Out the US Doesn’t Really *Do* Military Parades, and for Good Reason.” Hello Giggles, February 7, 2018.

perspective/prospective: “new perspective jurors.” “Cosby Arrived for Day 3 of Jury Selection.” MSN, May 24, 2017.

podium/lectern: “fist pounding the podium.” “Remarks by the President: Eulogy for Senator Edward M. Kennedy.” The White House Archives, August 29, 2009.

practicable/practical: “for the practicable person.” “12 Flea Market Finds That Make the Perfect Holiday (or Anytime!) Gifts.” Annex Markets, December 18, 2015.

prescribe/proscribe: “within proscribed limits.” “Hamilton Golf and Country Club.” Talent Seeker. “Prescription Proscription.” Reason, November 10, 1999.

presumptive/presumptuous: “presumptive of me.” Muscatine Journal, April 11, 2005.

“his screen son and presumptuous heir.” “Action Movies, Stop Taking Away Our Everyday Heroes.” Wired, June 6, 2015.

“no presumptuous heir.” David L. Lewis, The Public Image of Henry Ford (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1976), 400.

preternatural: “preternaturally clean aisles.” Greening the Red, White, and Blue: The Bomb, Big Business, and Consumer Resistance in Postwar America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 1.

prevaricate/procrastinate: “after he prevaricated.” “Theresa May Is Failing to Learn from Gordon Brown’s Mistakes.” Spectator, June 16, 2017.

“some played the prevaricators.” The Camden Miscellany, vol. 21, 177; N. Harpsfield Treatise/Divorce of Henry VIII (1878, modernized text).

principal/principle: “the key principal.” “10 Worst Movie Remakes of All Time.” Variety, August 19, 2016.

pristine: “the most pristine.” “Travel Tips: Top Bathrooms.” Vegas.com. www.vegas.com/traveltips/top-bathrooms-las-vegas.

prodigal: “Prodigal son returns.” “President Obama in Kenya: Prodigal Son Returns— but Can He Bring Much Needed Change to His Father’s Homeland?” Independent, July 22, 2015.

random: “The lullaby . . . is so random.” “Jurnee Smollett-Bell Says Breastfeeding Is the Trick to Keeping Her Son Quiet on Flights.” People, March 21, 2017.

redundant: “troublesome, redundant organ.” “Scientists Discover True Function of Appendix Organ.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, October 9, 2007.

“a pair of identical twins.” A. Parody, Eats, Shites & Leaves (London: Michael O’Mara Books Ltd, 2014), e-book.

refute: “he refuted centuries of tradition.” “Jackson Pollock.” Art Gallery of Ontario.

regime/regimen: “skincare regime.” “Skincare Alphabet: V Is for Vitamin C.” Vogue, March 14, 2016.

restive/restful: “a restive day.” “Familiar Faces on Sidelines as Football Season Opens.” Sioux City [IA] Journal, August 15, 2010.

reticent/reluctant: “reticent to buy.” “Investors Reticent to Buy Pricy US 2Y Treasuries.” Reuters, May 25, 2010.

revert: “revert to me.” Indeed, search for “Kindly Revert Asap.” indeed.co.

“revert has been leading another life,” “Revert.” New York Times Magazine, June 3, 2010.

“use ‘revert’ in India for ‘reply’.” “Usage of Revert (I Will Revert Back to You Later).” english-test.net, March 14, 2011.


“the scarifying, blood-curling [sic] imprecations.” “After Nearly 25 Years, The Gun Club’s Final Album Finally Gets Released.” LA Weekly, May 6, 2017.

“scarifying villain.” “Doug Clark: The Force Returned to Spokane’s Michael Runyan Last Week.” Spokesman-Review, May 28, 2017.

simplistic/simple: “simplistic solutions.” “DIY: IKEA Rolling Organizing Storage Chest.” Living Green and Frugally.

“overly simplistic.” “Tim Cook: Framing Apple-FBI Case as Privacy vs. National Security ‘Is Overly Simplistic.’” Venture Beat, February 24, 2016.

stanch/staunch: “staunch the wound.” “Boris Johnson: This Is a Moment of Hope for Libya. We Can’t Afford to Miss It.” Spectator, May 13, 2017.

statistically significant: “genuinely statistically significant.” Quit Facebook, Save Your Marriage.” Ozy.com, July 1, 2014.

“‘Statistically significant’ is one of those phrases.” “10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing.” Gizmodo, June 16, 2014.

suspect/suspicious: “I’m suspect about the whole thing.” “Political Notebook: The Truth About Those Political Endorsements.” Niagara Gazette, April 29, 2007.

“Suspecious was the diffame of this man, Suspect his face, suspect his word also. Suspect the tyme in which he this began.” The Riverside Chaucer, edited by Larry Benson and Christopher Cannon (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008), 144.

tact/tack: “A New Tact.” “A New Tact in the MTS Fight.” NY Press, December 2, 2014.

tendentious: “tendentious struggle.” “All the Views Fit to Print? Charles Isherwood on Whither the Playwrights (Plus a PS).” Huffington Post, November 11, 2007.

theory: “just a theory.” “San Francisco’s Sierra Club Is a Bastion of Faux Environmentalism.” Forbes, May 31, 2017.

“The problem with phrase ‘just a theory.’” “10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing.” Gizmodo, June 16, 2014.

tortuous/torturous: “Tortuous Life.” “Tortuous Life of a Chinese Slave.” South China Morning Post, November 29, 1997.

tough road to hoe/tough row to hoe: “tough road to hoe.” “Senator Orrin Hatch Says Ronald Reagan Richly Deserves an Oscar.” TMZ, January 24, 2018.

“Farming can be tough road to hoe for the young.” The Pantagraph, August 30, 2013.

tow the line/toe the line: “tow the line.” “Will Banning Thin Models in France Create a Healthier Fashion World?” Huffington Post, May 30, 2017.

travesty/tragedy: “a good travesty.” “‘King Arthur’ is the Street Punk Version of Camelot.” Buffalo News, May 11, 2017.

“joke of the travesty or the travesty of the joke.” Judith Roof, The Comic Event: Comedic Performance from the 1950s to the Present (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018) 62.

trooper/trouper: “sing like a trooper.” “Adele or George Bush: Who Wore a Rain Poncho Better?” E! News, March 27, 2017.

unexceptionable/unexceptional: “normal, unexceptionable people.” “Watch: Why I Thank the Voices in My Head.” October 23, 2013.

unique: “one of the most unique homes.” “Meet One of the Most Unique Homes in Washington DC.” Washington Post, September 21, 2008.

“I am a slight perfectionist.” Issac Asimov, quoted in William and Mary Morris, Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage, 2nd ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1985), 602.

untenable: “untenable marriage.” “Russell Crowe’s 5 Minutes with Wife Danielle Spencer.” The Daily Telegraph, December 21, 2012.

utilize: “they utilized the historic Roycroft Inn.” “Training Camp History.”

“utilize is 99 times out of 100, much inferior to use.” Eric Partridge, Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (Harper & Brothers: New York, London, 1942), 343.

venal/venial: “its venial politicians.” Randall M. Miller, ed., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life in America (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009), 3: 448.

verbal/oral: “handle verbal orders. If the Physician is . . . giving you verbal orders.” “Verbal Orders vs. Telephone Orders.” Allnurses.com.

“If you think of ‘oral.’” “Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: Verbal; Oral.” LawProse.org, February, 2017.

verbiage: “verbiage in the picture.” “Kylie Jenner Shows Off Curves in Lingerie Shot for Her 20th Birthday.” Popculture.com, August 11, 2017.

wet your appetite/whet your appetite: “[T]o wet their appetite.” “You Might Lose Your Virginity Again Watching Trey Songz’ ‘Animal’ Video.” Vibe, March 17, 2017.

“to whet dull appetite.” Thomas Dekker, The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker: Volume the Third, edited by Richard Herne Shepherd (London: John Pearson, 1873), 282.

Special Sections

To Me or Not to Me: “with my cousin and I.” Ben Jonson, Every Man in His Humor, act 5, scene 3, line 144; “between you and I.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, act 3, scene 2, line 316.

To Whom It May Concern, or Who’s on First: “Who Had Sex with Who.” “Who Had Sex with Who on Game of Thrones.” DesignTAXI, April 8, 2014.