Words often confused – enervate and energise by Angela Caldin

Enervate and energise are antonyms which means they are opposites, though increasingly enervate is mistakenly used as a synonym for energise. Enervate means to deprive of force or strength, to destroy the vigour of, to weaken, to sap, to drain someone of energy, to make someone feel weak in a physical or mental way, to make someone feel debilitated. The gloomy, rainy weather seemed to enervate her system and she grew daily more weak and depressed. Britain’s democratic system is enervated and paralysed by parliament’s inability to make progress with Brexit. Spain’s… 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 – words sometimes confused: flout and flaunt

Flaunt and flout are both verbs which sound sort of similar, but they don’t mean the same thing. When you flaunt yourself, your wealth, or your accomplishments, you’re parading them in front of people, displaying them ostentatiously and showing off. It sometimes seems that Facebook is just a vehicle for people to flaunt their fabulous holidays, their amazingly successful children and their sporting achievements. The male peacock flaunts his fabulous plumage in the hope of attracting the female.   When you flout something, you openly disregard it, scoff at it, mock it, or show scorn… 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