Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 29)

More often misused or misspelled words:

Disperse vs. disburse

Wrong: Make sure you disperse everyone’s pay on time this week.
Right: Make sure you disburse everyone’s pay on time this week.

Disperse means to scatter or spread widely. You probably wouldn’t want someone to do that with your paycheck. On the other hand, you might want to disperse smoke or an unruly mob. Money, on the other hand, is disbursed, or paid out. (Adding to the confusion between the two words is a secondary meaning for disburse of distributing or scattering. Still, even through you might disburse troops you wouldn’t want to disperse someone’s money….)

Noone vs. no one

Wrong: There was noone there to meet me.
Right: There was no one there to meet me.

There’s no such word as noone (unless you’re a fan of the rock group Herman’s Hermits’ lead singer Peter Noone). It’s correctly written as no one.

Stay tuned for the next thrilling edition.


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