Confusing, Complicated, Curious Words We All Mix-Up Sometimes: Part 2!

By Ash Thoms

I would advise you to heed the advice in this blog post.

“Advice” is a noun indicating a recommendation from a person who is usually in a place of authority. For example, you gave me some great advice on how to get through my classes this semester. “Advise” is a verb which means to offer suggestions about the best course of action. My mother advised me to go to bed before two in the morning. When we advise someone on something, we are giving them a piece of advice.

The bare ideas of this post are easy to understand, although the confusing words create issues for many. If you bear with me, I’ll try to give you as clear of a description as I possibly can.

“Bare” means basic or simple in the context of the sentence above. The bare essentials of my outline are ready to be expanded into a full essay. It can also mean uncovered or not clothed. My bare hands are freezing in this cold winter weather. “Bear” as a verb means to tolerate or be patient with. Please bear with my thought process, as it can get a little confusing. As a verb it can also mean to support or carry. Let me bear the weight of your anxiety so you can get through this week. Finally, bear as a noun is an animal that you really don’t want to mess with. Look out behind youthere’s a bear!

I want to ensure that you have a clear idea of what these words mean after this blog post is over. After all, this post is the only way I can insure you against the perils of misusing words in your writing!

“Ensure” means to make certain that something will occur. I ensure my success in my economics class by regularly attending class meetings and doing my homework. “Insure” means to protect someone or something against a possible contingency. I am insured against theft and fire damage in my new house through my renter’s insurance.

I don’t mean to be coarse in trying to clarify the use of these words. I sincerely hope this post doesn’t come across as such. At least the course of this blog post is nearly at its end.

“Coarse” in the above sentence means a rude manner of speech or a rude person. You’re being quite coarse today, Mr. Buttons! It can also mean a rough texture or grain. This fabric is quite coarse, and I don’t really enjoy the feeling of it. “Course” refers to the route or direction of an object. We’re off course—get us back where we belong ASAP! A course is also another word for a class. If you can take a course with Professor Professorson, you should do it. Course can also be used as a verb to mean moving without obstruction. The water is coursing through the streets today as the flood continues (#NVFLOOD17).

I hope this blog post has complemented your already vast amount of knowledge. And yes, saying you already have a vast amount of knowledge is quite the compliment.

“Complement” can be either a noun or a verb. As a noun, it means a thing that completes. Graham crackers are the perfect complement to marshmallows and chocolate (now I want s’mores). As a verb, it means to add to something in a way that improves it. A good book complements a rainy day. “Compliment” can also be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it is an expression of praise or admiration. I got the best compliment about my hair today! As a verb it means to politely congratulate or praise someone for something. I compliment people on their sense of style all the time.

Hopefully the advice given in this post has been useful and put you on the course towards using these words correctly! This blog complements the original post about confusing words quite well, and hopefully ensures your success in using these words in your writing!

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