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

Leveraging – A Buzzword for our Times by Angela Caldin

Leverage, a Noun that’s become a Verb Leverage has joined that increasing band of words that are now used as verbs as well as nouns, such as impact, access, action, transition, dialogue. I recently proofread the text for a computing website where they were leveraging away like mad, clearly of the opinion that the use of the word leverage as a verb added a certain special something to their site and their brand. You can use a lever to make a task easier and this gives rise to the noun leverage. The… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Lie and Lay

Words often confused: lie and lay The verbs to lie and to lay have very different meanings: To lie means to rest, to recline or to be in a horizontal position. To lay means to put or to place. There is an essential difference between these two verbs: To lie is an intransitive verb: it describes an action undertaken by the subject, but it never has a direct object. It does not express the kind of action that can be done to anything: I lie here every day. I lay here yesterday. I will lie here tomorrow. I am lying here now. I have lain here every day for… Read More

Angela’s ABCs Passed and Past

Words often confused Passed and past are commonly confused, but I hope to explain the difference so that you’ll never confuse them again. Passed can only ever be part of the verb ‘to pass’. It is the past tense and the past participle of that verb. It is never anything else but part of that verb: The procession passed under the bridge. (past tense of ‘to pass’) The procession has passed under the bridge. (past participle of ‘to pass’) Past on the other hand, has several different meanings. Though they are similar, they… Read More