Angela’s ABCs: words sometimes confused – loose and lose by Angela Caldin

  I often hesitate over which of these two words is right in the particular context and it’s only when I say them out loud that I can get it clear. Loose, which rhymes with goose, is usually an adjective meaning not firmly or tightly held in place; not compact or dense; and free from restraint or confinement. The farmer realised that all the cows were loose and were trampling the vegetable patch. Matilda had a loose tooth which she hoped would soon come out and earn her some money from the… Read More

Angela’s ABCs: words often confused – appraise and apprise by Angela Caldin

I often hear these two words confused and though I wrote about them a few years ago, I’m doing a repeat explanation here. The problem seems to be that people will often use the verb to appraise when they mean to apprise. This rarely seems to happen the other way around, i.e., using apprise instead of appraise. It may be that this mistake occurs because some people are unaware that to apprise even exists – it’s a very formal sort of word. Appraise The verb to appraise means to assess or to evaluate. We inspect and appraise pre-owned vehicles before putting them on sale. Managers appraise… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – clichés and idioms by Angela Caldin

At the weekend, I was telling anybody who would listen that I’d been spending time with someone who spoke using a lot of clichés. To illustrate my point, I gave an example, ‘We mustn’t upset the apple cart.’ My younger daughter, who, surprisingly, had been listening, said, ‘That’s not a cliché, it’s an idiom.’ I was intrigued. She knows about these things because she’s a primary school teacher and she teaches her Year 4s all about these figures of speech: metaphor, simile, alliteration, onomatopoeia, idiom and cliché. Even so, I still felt… Read More

It’s just one of those things by Angela Caldin

I’ve been pondering recently about the word just which has numerous meanings many of which are frequently found in day to day usage. Noun and adjective First it can be a noun as in the just – people who behave in a morally correct way Second it can be an adjective meaning fair or morally correct: The judge’s sentence seemed just considering all the evidence. Adverb It’s when just is used as an adverb that the fun begins: Just can mean​ now, very soon or recently Wait for me, I’m just coming…. Read More

Angela’s ABCs: words sometimes confused – all together and altogether

All together and altogether are homophones, which means they sound alike, but they have different meanings. I, for one, find it easy to confuse them, so the explanation below is for my benefit as well as anyone else who might be interested. All together, a two-word phrase, means collectively, with each other, everyone doing something all at once or all in one place: We gathered round the piano and sang the folk song all together.       (It’s possible to break up this two-word saying as in “We all gathered round… Read More