20 English Words That Are Often Misused

English is a queer language that has taken words from almost every language in the world. Like other languages, it too has got synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms to its vocabulary. Therefore, one should know the real meanings of its words when writing important documents and speaking on important platforms.

There are certain words in the English language where we have learned them wrong and are continuing to use it to mean something instead of something else which can become ambiguous in your future course.

Therefore, please have a look at the below list of words that are often misused, and it will help you to stay more focused on your choice of words in your future communication.

Not just that it will also improve your language going forward with the below measure both in terms of writing and speaking.

20 English Words That Are Often Misused.

Adequate

= Enough, But it is seen using for various other meanings such as plentiful, abundant, oversupply which is wrong, instead we can use it as more nearly adequate, not adequate, less than adequate, more than adequate.

Alibi

= Weak excuse,(law) a defense by an accused person purporting to show that he or she could not have committed the crime in question.

This word cannot be used for other small excuses.

Alternative

Means choice of two/One of the two things from which the only one can be chosen.

It cannot be used when you have 3 choices.

Average

= Intermediate/mean/median (Arithmetical computation)

It cannot be used for any other purposes other than mathematical

Climax

The highest point of anything conceived of as growing, developing or unfolding.

It is used in the literary sense, rather than any other emotion such as high point, exciting moment.  

Dilemma

State of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options.

It should not be used for all confusion situations.

Enable

To give ability/Render capable or able for some task

Therefore, it can only be used, when we talk about someone’s ability but not with other expressions.

Essential

Absolutely necessary; vitally necessary

This cannot be used in the place of important/ highly desirable or another such expression.

Extra

In addition to, beyond what is expected, out of scope

The word cannot be used to mean unusual, Very and other extreme expressions.

Farce

To stuff heavily, A comedy characterized by broad satire and improbable situations.

But it cannot be used to mock someone or to mean emptiness or sham.

Fix

To make fast, restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken

In colloquial English, we are using it for various purposes due to its various meanings.

Fulsome

Unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech/disgusting.

This is actually an offensive word, cannot be used in formal matters.

Impeach

Challenge the honesty,

This doesn’t mean he is guilt; he is just going for trail.

Invaluable

Having incalculable monetary, intellectual, or spiritual worth

Since it is an adjective it cannot qualify fa modifier.

Livid

Bluish color, and to mean other colors.

Therefore, it cannot be used for other purposes as it will be ambiguous.

Mutual

Shared by or having the same connection with two or more parties

But its formal meaning doesn’t agree with the above meanings. It originally means ‘reciprocal or interchangeable’.

Orphan

A child who has lost his parents.

But in its original meaning, a child has to be called an orphan only when one of his parents have died and the other is still living.

Per

For each, or for every

It doesn’t mean in accordance with/in keeping with and other similar expressions.

It should only used for standard business expressions such as percent, per annum and other calculative expressions.

Plus

With the addition of; increased by

It is not a conjunction like ‘and’ there never use it in that sense.

Sadistic

Deriving pleasure or sexual gratification from inflicting pain on another

But it should not be used to mean a person with strong interest in gory details.

Unique

Radically distinctive and without equal

But it doesn’t mean unusual/strange/odd/eccentric. So, care should be taken while using the above word.

Vital

Urgently needed; absolutely necessary

It doesn’t mean important or highly desirable. It should only be used when life or continued existence is involved.

E.Hemachandra Prasad