1. In my first article on this topic, I mentioned that this article is very delicate, difficult, dedicated, and long. I intend to explain my ordinary, simple, basic and layman’s views. As intended, this is my second humble and honest attempt in alphabetical order.
A (continued)
Acquaintance and friend
An acquaintance of my father once met Stalin.
The noun acquaintance means a person known slightly.
She has been a friend of my mother since her school days.
The noun friend means a person known well.
Acute and chronic
I have an acute pain in my left ear.
The adjective acute means sharp or short duration.
I have a chronic pain in my left ear.
The adjective ‘chronic’ means long duration.
• In a time sense, the two adjectives are opposites.
A.D. and B.C.
The battle of Hastings took place in the year A.D. 1066.
A.D. means anno domini (Latin for in the year of our lord).
The abbreviation should be placed before the date.
The battle of Zama took place in the year 202 B.C.
B.C. means before Christ. The abbreviation should be placed after the date.
Adapt and adopt
Can you adapt the skirt length to follow this year’s fashion?
Adapt means to modify.
The couple decided to adopt an orphan child.
Adopt means to choose as one’s own.
Adapter and adaptor
She is a good adapter of old ideas.
Adapter, with “e”, means a person who modifies something.
You will need to use an electrical adaptor.
Adaptor, with “o”, means a tool that modifies something.
Addenda and addendum
The report has three addenda.
Addenda means things to be added. It is plural.
The addendum is missing from this report.
Addendum is the singular form of addenda.
Admit and admit of
He refused to admit his crime.
Admit means to confess or acknowledge.
The letters from the bank manager admit two possibilities regarding your overdraft.
Admit means allow room for.
Admittance and
No admittance without a ticket.
The noun admittance means right to enter.
Admission to the concert is $5.
The noun admission means a charge for admittance.
Adverse and averse
My request for a bank loan met with an adverse reaction from the manager.
The adjective adverse, with “d”, implies opposition.
My bank manager is not averse to lending money if you have plenty.
The adjective averse,
without “d”, implies unwillingness rather than opposition.
Advice and advise
I will give you one piece of advice: never drink if you intend to drive.
Advice, ending “ce”, is a noun meaning suggestion.
We wish to advise you that …
Advise, ending “se”, is a verb derived from advice.
Affect and effect
The hot weather started to affect the runners.
The verb ‘affect’ means to cause a change in or to influence.
The effect of the hot weather was a drought.
The noun effect means consequence.
Affection and affectation
She has a great affection for her dog.
The noun affection means love.
She dressed with too much affectation for my liking.
The noun affectation means conscious display.
• Affectation gives us the adjective affected, meaning full of affectation as in: An affected way of speaking.
Afflict and inflict
The disease can afflict the hearing of elderly people.
The verb afflict, beginning with “aff-”, means trouble or pain.
Even though he smiles all the time, he seems to be the type of person who would inflict
great pain on his enemies.
The verb inflict, beginning “in”, means to impose. It has a sense of punishment.
Aggravate and irritate
That new medicine seems to aggravate his illness.
Aggravate means to make worse something already bad.
Smoking can irritate the lungs.
Irritate means to inflame or to annoy.
Reference: English Problem Words, by George Jerkings, London.
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