So you think you know your English, eh? Well, if you have been using the below mentioned misused English words as they ought to be used, then perhaps we’ll accept your claim of knowing your English, but not without that, okay? So, here’s the deal. See if you have been using these common misused English words correctly.
Common Misused English Words
This is probably one of the most common misused English words. Ironic doesn’t really mean something very funny that happened and it has nothing to do with any kind of annoying coincidences. There are a number of types of ironies in literature. The most common meaning of irony is an occurrence of an event which is totally opposite to what you’ve been expecting to happen.
This doesn’t mean skimming through text. You can never peruse a magazine or even your college notes. You skim them or maybe you just read them, although that’s how you have been using peruse up till now. Peruse, in fact, means to read something very carefully and with lots of concentration.
Owing to instant coffee, instant noodles, rice and a lot of instant products, people usually think the word means faster than fast in actual English language as well. This is certainly not the case. Instant refers to a specific moment in time. The moment is, in fact, so short that it cannot be measured in any way at all. It’s way shorter than a heartbeat and really, you don’t make noodles that fast, do you?
Just because it sounds like enormous doesn’t mean it has to actually have the same meaning. Enormity has nothing to do with enormous in all aspects. The word actually means an immoral act or something extremely evil, not huge. So use these misused English words correctly now.
The word is only used for tens. You don’t decimate your opponent in a game like Battleship. Well, it will be true if you took down only 10% of their ships. but nothing more. If you wiped out their entire fleet, the word used will be obliterated or even exterminated. Decimate is a very cool word, but definitely doesn’t mean what you think it means.
This word sounds like the word fortune, doesn’t it? But again, it doesn’t mean the same. Fortune is luck, which is often taken positively. Fortuitous means by chance. Something that is fortuitous doesn’t always have to be good; it can be bad too.
Although it sounds a lot like amused, this misused English words has nothing to do with it. Bemused doesn’t mean amused or excited. In fact, the word has to be used for something that confuses or puzzles you completely. If you say you were bemused by a comedian, it would mean you didn’t get their jokes.
This is again one of the most common misused English words. You cannot use literally to emphasize something. Know your English! Literally should be used for something which actually happened because that’s what the word means.