Angela’s ABCs – Words Sometimes Confused: Titillate and Titivate

These two verbs are both rather fun, but have different meanings: to titillate means to excite, arouse or stimulate agreeably, sometimes in a sexually suggestive way; literally, it means to tickle or to excite a tingling sensation by stroking lightly: Tell me, what would titillate your taste buds, a custard tart or a cream cake? The story in the newspaper was designed to titillate rather than to report the facts of the matter. She decided to titillate his senses by gently allowing her arm to brush against his.   to titivate means… Read More

Angela’s ABCs: Noisome and Noisy

Everyone probably knows what noisy means,             but what about noisome? I realised today that I didn’t really know what noisome means. So I looked it up and now I know that it means: Offensive, disgusting harmful, injurious to health, noxious very disagreeable or unpleasant sickening, nauseating morally offensive Examples: They lived next door to a huge rubbish tip and were badly affected by the noisome vapours coming from the smouldering waste. A noisome stench emanated from the pile of decaying food.          … Read More

Angela’s  ABCs: Words Easily Confused – site and cite

Site is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, site refers to the place where something is or was located;  in the world of the Internet, site refers to a virtual place on the World Wide Web (website): Four new houses would be built on the site of the old barn. Archaeologists had cordoned off the site of the medieval village, looking for ancient artefacts. A click of your mouse can take you to a useful site containing all the information you need. As a verb site means to place or locate: It was decided to site… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Words Easily Confused: Born and Borne

The distinction between these two words is quite tricky as born and borne are both forms of the verb to bear, but born relates to birth or origin and borne relates to being carried, transported, supported or transmitted. Born is used to describe the result of birth and by extension to describe a natural ability to do a particular job. It is also used in connection with the beginning or origin of something: He was born and brought up in Leeds. She is a born violinist. He is a Russian-born scientist living… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Words Easily Confused: ambiguous and ambivalent by Angela Caldin

Ambiguous is an adjective meaning unclear, vague, confusing or capable of being understood in more than one way: The wording of the section of the law under discussion was ambiguous and therefore hard to interpret decisively. The ending of the film was ambiguous so that many who saw it were puzzled about what the director had intended.   Ambivalent is an adjective which means being uncertain about how you feel or having two opposing feelings at the same time:     He wanted to tell the truth but at the same time… Read More