Angela’s ABCs – Words Easily Confused: Credible/Creditable/Credulous; Incredible/Incredulous

Credible The adjective credible means believable, worthy, or trustworthy: She gave her evidence in composed and sincere tones, so that everyone in court found her a credible witness. It is often used with a negative: His latest claims are hardly credible, as they appear to have no foundation in fact. Creditable The adjective creditable means worthy of praise, credit or honour, though the word has an aspect to it which implies a limited kind of praise: The underdog candidate polled a creditable 35%. Although the first violinist was ill, the orchestra gave a creditable performance nonetheless. Credulous The adjective credulous means… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Words Easily Confused: Tortuous and Torturous

One letter makes all the difference: The adjective tortuous means winding, crooked, marked by repeated twists and turns. In an abstract sense, it can also mean complex, devious, complicated, tricky to handle: They had to take a tortuous route over the mountains to escape. The path to peace in the Middle East is still as tortuous as it has ever been. The plots of soap operas become increasingly tortuous as they compete to attract viewers. The adjective torturous means painful in a cruel way, causing torture, or extremely slow and difficult: Training for a marathon can… Read More

Angela’s ABCs: Words Often Confused – Horde and Hoard

Horde refers to a large crowd, mob, gang, throng or swarm. It is always a noun and applies to people and other living beings and often has an aggressive connotation: Hordes of reporters followed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their recent visit to NZ. The sheep were attacked by a horde of ravening wolves. Hoard can be either a noun or a verb and is usually applied to things, often valuable things such as money, treasure or food. The noun hoard refers to an accumulated store often hidden, or a… Read More

English as She is Spoke by Angela Caldin

Breaking the Carapace of the English Language There was a wonderful programme on UK’s Channel 4 recently, entitled ‘Why don’t you speak English?’ It tackled head on the question of why some immigrants fail to learn English and therefore find it hard to integrate into British society. The programme makers selected four immigrants: one from Poland, one from China, one from Colombia and one from Congo, all of whom had a very sketchy grasp of English. Each one was billeted for a week in an English household in the hope that the… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Words easily confused: Instil and Install by Angela Caldin

Instil This means to put a feeling, idea, attitude, behaviour or principle gradually and by continuous effort into someone’s mind, so that it has a strong influence on the way they think or behave. It is related to the mind: Parents usually decide to instil good manners into their children from an early age. Some would say it is part of a teacher’s job to instil confidence into his or her students. Install This has three distinct meanings, deriving from the word stall meaning place or seat. It is related to physical… Read More