Words Easily Confused – Dual and Duel by Angela Caldin

Dual is an adjective meaning double, twofold, composed of two parts or having a double character or purpose: They decided that their children should have dual nationality so that they could live in either country later on. He could only conclude that she had a dual personality – at times kind and charming, at others cruel and malicious. Duel is a noun or verb referring to a fight or struggle. It can refer to a prearranged combat between two people often using pistols or swords or to a struggle for domination or… Read More

Angela’s ABCs: Words Sometimes Confused – Purposely and Purposefully

I’ve heard these two adverbs confused twice this week, so I decided it would be worth looking closely at their definitions:   Purposely means intentionally, deliberately, on purpose.  When you mean to do something, you do it purposely: She crossed the road purposely because she didn’t want to have to speak to her ex-boyfriend. The footballer purposely tripped up the goalkeeper so that the ball would go into the net.     Purposefully means with a strong sense of purpose, or with determination and intent.  When you are determined to do something, you… Read More

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: 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