20 misused English words that make smart people look silly

by Purpose Unlimited

As Dr. Travis Bradberry suggests in his article, 20 Misused English Words That Make People Look Silly, we’re tempted to use words we’re not too familiar with. He also mentioned that if this were the only problem, he wouldn’t have much to write about.

Herein lies the problem: it’s the words we think we’re using correctly that cause us challenges. We throw them around regularly in meetings at the office, in the e-mails we write, and in important documents. The bad news is, we can look silly, or even dumb. For the reader, “they land, like fingernails across a chalkboard.” We’re all guilty of this from time to time, but that doesn’t give us permission to not improve our use of the English language.

Have a look to see some of the commonly confused words that may be throwing you off. For a complete list, see the full article.

  • Accept vs. Except
  • Affect vs. Effect
  • Lie vs. Lay
  • Bring vs. Take
  • Ironic vs. Coincidental
  • Imply vs. Infer

Learn More: Dr. Travis Bradberry, June 20th, 2015.


English grammar can be tricky, and, a lot of times, the words that sound right are actually wrong. With words such as those listed above, you just have to memorize the rules so that when you are about to use them, you’ll catch yourself in the act and know for certain that you’ve written or said the right one.

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