Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 11)

Continuing my series of blog, here are some more words I frequently see misused:

Farther vs. further

Wrong: You have further to walk than I do.
Right: You have farther to walk than I do.

Use farther when referring to distance (“It’s farther to my house than to yours.”) If no form of distance is involved, use further. (“We’re further along in the process than I expected.)

Mute vs. moot

Wrong: That’s a mute point.
Right: That’s a moot point.

Unless you’re making the point silently, it’s moot, not mute. Unfortunately, even when many people use the correct phrase, they use it incorrectly, as if it means “no longer important.” A moot point is one that’s debatable, not irrelevant. Law schools typically have a Moot Court, for students to hone their courtroom debating skills.

I have plenty of other words to go, so keep checking back.


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