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November, 2018

Some words tend to confuse people more than others, as demonstrated by Merriam-Webster’s list of some of the most looked-up words in its online dictionary

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The definitions of these words aren’t confusing, but remembering when to use each one can sure be tricky. A good rule of thumb is that “affect” is usually a verb and “effect” is usually a noun. The weather can affect your mood, and a new policy can have a devastating effect.


Integrity is the firm adherence to a code of values.


Something that is ambiguous can be understood in two or more possible ways. For example, the sentence “the peasants are revolting” is ambiguous, because it could mean the peasants are rebelling in the streets, or that they are physically disgusting. We need more information to clear up the ambiguity.


Albeit is a one-word substitute for “even though,” like when you describe an extravagant, albeit expensive, night on the town.


A conundrum is an intricate and difficult problem. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s often used to describe seemingly unanswerable questions involving ethics, sociology, and economics, but it can also refer generally to any puzzle or mystery.


Simply put, you’re apathetic if you don’t care about something. A synonym for apathetic is “indifferent.”


Someone is cynical if they are distrustful of people’s motives, or believe that human conduct is motivated primarily by self-interest. A cynical person might question why you offer to do them a favour, thinking to themselves, “what do they really want?”


It is used to describe something that is widespread and constantly encountered.


Someone is pretentious if they express unwarranted or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature.

Also read: A Complete Guide to Writing Effective Essay


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