Thursday, June 5, 2008

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 36)

Here are some more words that writers often misuse:

Adequate vs. sufficient

Wrong: Make sure you take adequate time to decide.
Right: Make sure you take sufficient time to decide.

The relationship of sufficient to adequate is one of quantity vs. quality. Sufficient means “enough,” while adequate means “good enough.” You may have a sufficient quantity of food for your needs, but you still have to consider whether the nutritional quality is adequate as well.

Shammy vs. chamois

Wrong: Grab a shammy and start drying the car.
Right: Grab a chamois and start drying the car.

A chamois is a European antelope whose hide is used to make soft leather. Chamois also refers to a cotton fabric made to resemble chamois leather. Shammy is merely a phonetic spelling of chamois.

Please return soon for more words.


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