Diffuse vs. defuse
Wrong: We need to diffuse the situation.
Right: We need to defuse the situation.
Diffuse has a number of meanings, but all are along the lines of spread out, scatter, or disseminate. In this context, defuse means to make less dangerous, tense, or embarrassing. A bomb is capable of diffusing debris throughout a blast zone, if someone doesn’t defuse it first.
Accept vs. except
Wrong: I except your proposal.
Right: I accept your proposal.
To accept is to take or receive something or someone (accept a package or accept a person into membership), or respond affirmatively (accept an invitation). Except means to exclude (“everyone except him”), or otherwise than (“everywhere except