Spelling, Capitalization, and Abbreviations Frequently Misused Words from Rude, Carolyn. Technical Editing, 4 th ed. Slide 2 affect, effect Slide 3 Both can be nouns, both can be verbs. Effect means result Affect means to influence. Your training in writing will have an effect on your performance in editing. Class participation will affect your grade. Slide 4 assure, insure, ensure Slide 5 All mean to make secure or certain assure is used in relations to setting a persons mind at rest. Harold assured Susan that everything would be fine. The company has insured the staff. New policies ensure greater participation. Slide 6 complement, compliment Slide 7 A complement completes a whole A compliment expresses praise That tie complements his outfit. I really appreciated your compliment. Slide 8 continually, continuously Slide 9 Continually suggests recurrent interrupted action Continuously indicates uninterrupted action I am continually having to grade papers. My office computer stays on continuously during the week. Slide 10 discreet, discrete Slide 11 Discreet mean prudent Discrete means separate A good manager is discreet about reprimanding an employee. We saw seven discrete types of birds this weekend. Slide 12 farther, further Slide 13 Farther refers only to physical distance Further refers to degree, quantity, or time The Kia plant is farther than I expected. The company can not risk going further into debt. Slide 14 fiscal, physical Slide 15 Fiscal refers to finances Physical refers to bodily or material things I had to physically move my fiscal reports. Slide 16 imply, infer Slide 17 Imply means to suggest Infer means to make a suggestion or draw a conclusion These figures imply that our company is going under. We inferred from the figures that we should all start looking for new jobs. Slide 18 its, its Slide 19 Its is a possessive pronoun Its is a contraction for it is That puppy is proud of its stuffed monkey. Its good to buy your puppy a stuffed monkey. Slide 20 lay, lie Slide 21 Lay is a transitive verb that takes an object Lie is always intransitive I will lay my massive textbook down on this table. It will lie there for quite a while. Slide 22 personal, personnel Slide 23 Personal means private Personnel is a collective noun referring to people You are encroaching on my personal space. Would all personnel please report to lounge for cookies and milk? Slide 24 principle, principal Slide 25 A principle is a basic rule or law A principal is a school office, or the first or primary of something Auburns policies are based on sound principles. The principals principal occupation is administration. Slide 26 stationery, stationary Slide 27 Stationery is writing paper Stationary is fixed in place The pretty yellow stationery on my table is stationary. Slide 28 their, there, theyre Slide 29 Their is a possessive pronoun There is an adverb designation a place Theyre is a contraction of they are Their new dog drools a lot. There are a lot of dogs that drool. Theyre going to buy their dog his own towel. Slide 30 whose, whos Slide 31 Whose is a possessive pronoun Whos is a contraction for who is Whose dog is this drooling on my shoes? Whos going to clean this up? Slide 32 your, youre Slide 33 Your is a possessive pronoun Youre is a contraction for you are I looked at your car, and I think it is broken. Youre going to need to take your car to the shop.