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Jun 5, 2017

Some English Words That Have Certainly Embarrassed You

It is never easy speaking another man's language let alone writing it. However, a listening ear and constant practice will make you write any language effectively, even more than its speakers.

Some English Words That Have Certainly Embarrassed You.
 One major problem with some second learners of English is that they learn the language with laxity, paying less or no attention to the rules of the language, regardless of the fact that it is an official language in their countries. Some who are aware that they are deficient in writing and speaking the language cover up their deficiency with this fallacious question, "who English epp?" If you are in this category, I advise you learn how to effectively write and speak the language as soon as possible because of its mutual intelligibility in the international community.

This article reveals some words learners of English have used and spelt wrongly. Graduates, undergraduates and even some native speakers are also culprits of this rampant crime. The wrong spelling is not as a result of an omission of a letter in these words but due to a breach of the rule governing the orthography of these words. Let’s look at the word "in fact". This is a word that is made up of two words ("in" and "fact"), and according to the orthography of the word, it is expected that you give a space after writing the first word "in" before the second word "fact". This word is a typical example of open compounding.  However, English learners write this word without observing its orthographical rule, and consequently, you have “infact". This word does not exist in any English dictionary. Other words that fall under this category are "a lot", "for instance", "at least" etc., which are now written as "alot", "forinstance", and "atleast" respectively by most English users.

The misuse of certain English words is also a common problem among learners of English due to their inadequate knowledge of the workings of the language. Some of these words are:

1. Mop vs Mob 
It is no news that most English learners will tell you to "mob the floor" rather than telling you to "mop the floor". This is a common error among Nigerian users of the English language. Please, do yourself a favour by checking out the meanings of these words. For the smart guys in the house, you can ascertain their meanings from the hint below.
Hint: Your living room is not clean because you mob it.  Until you decide to mop it, it will remain dirty.

2. Lose vs Loose
These words are perfect examples of homophones (i.e. words that have same sounds, different spellings and different meanings). Another perfect example is "son/sun". Because these words have similar sound, English learners tend to use them interchangeably. You can use the hint below to get their correct usage.

Hint: Lose a game and loose a knot.

3. Seize vs Cease 
These words have also slapped so many English learners on the face. Although they almost have similar sound, their meanings are different. To seize means to deliberately take hold of; to grab or capture (something) whereas to cease means to stop doing something.

Hint:  Pray without ceasing.

Tammy's pen was seized yesterday by his boss.

4. Waive vs Wave
These words are pronounced alike but have different meanings and spellings. They are typical examples of homophones.Their phonetic sameness has posed a lot of usage problems among undergraduates and graduates. Some are not even aware of the existence of the former. The consequence of this is that they always use the latter (wave) in place of the former (waive). That is why you see students write, "Senate has refused to wave the course" instead of "Senate has refused to waive the course". 

Hint: You wave at someone whereas you waive a course.