Words are constantly evolving and changing every year making it very hard to be a master of the English language. Hell, even selfie is in the dictionary now. But did you know that many of the words that we use on a daily basis are words that you’re using wrong?
Let’s see if you can make it through these 14 words without realising you’ve been using one wrong – we certainly couldn’t!
What we think it means: Something that is funny
What it actually means: Something that is contrary to what to you expected
Irony is one of those words that you’re constantly using wrong. People continually get mixed up between coincidence and irony. Think of sarcasm, which is irony, as you are saying something which has two opposite meanings.
What we think it means: Something tragic or an unforeseen event
What it actually means: A mocking or parody
Tragedy and travesty do sound pretty similar so you can understand why people get the two confused. They are definitely different, though.
What we think it means: To have a quick glance at something
What it actually means: Study something in-depth
Peruse always seems to be associated wrongly with shops i.e. I spent the afternoon perusing the shops. However if you were actually perusing the shops in great detail you’d be spending days doing it.
What we think it means: To feel ill/sick
What it really means: To cause feelings of sickness
What you are actually feeling is nauseated. Think of this example, if a baby is sick and this makes you feel sick it is the actual baby vomit that is nauseous while you are nauseated. Nauseous is just one of those words that you’re using wrong that’s hard to get right.
What we think it means: Having a really interesting conversation
What it actually means: …
Yeah, this word was totally made up by the internet.
What we think it means: Amused
What it actually means: Confused
Bemused may look like be-amused but in reality they are nothing similar. To be bemused means you’re confused, which may be amusing to others.
What we think it means: Really big, enormous
What it really means: Really bad or evil
Well enormity does sound like it could be related to enormous, but actually it means something which is really evil. Use it like – “the enormity of Myra Hindley’s crimes” – which looks at the level of evil in her actions rather than the size of the crimes.
What we think it means: Something really, really good
What it really means: Something horrific that causes fear
Yeah, we use this wrong too. Think of a velocirapter as being terrific as it’s a big scary dinosaur that’s going to eat you. Which is really not good. We think this this a word that you’re using wrong which is going to be very hard to get right now.
What we think it means: To do something by choice
What it actually means: Being obligated or forced to do something
We often get confused with compelled thinking it means that we have decided to do something after thought. It doesn’t. Think of compelled as with someone who has been sentenced to jail. They are compelled to go, but not by choice.
What we think it means: The best!
What it actually means: The last item on a list
There’s not much to ultimate, everyone just seems to get it wrong. If the last thing on your to do list is to clean your room, then ultimately you must clean your room. Simple.
What we think it means: Bored
What it actually means: You have no interest
Just remember uninterested means you’re bored. Disinterested means you’re probably daydreaming about cats.
What we think it means: To utterly destroy something
What it actually means: To destroy 10% of something
Once you realise you can see the ‘dec’ in decimate relates to 10, but the real meaning of decimate still makes little sense.
What we think it means: Figuratively
What it actually means: Something actually
You have not literally slept for days. If you had you would have been in a coma. Literally is a terrible word.
What we think it means: Without regard
What it really means: …
This is another word we made up. You never know, it might make it to the dictionary.