Friday, January 16, 2009

Commonly misused/misspelled words and phrases (Part 78)

Ready for some more words to watch out for? Here goes:

Descent vs. Decent vs. Dissent

Wrong: He seems like a descent enough person.

Right: He seems like a decent enough person.

Descent (duh-SENT or dee-SENT) is the act of moving from a higher place to a lower one, while decent (DEE-sent) means satisfactory, proper, modest, or respectable. Dissent (dih-SENT) means disagreement. A mountain climber wouldn’t want to descend too quickly. Ideally, he should use a decent rate of descent and avoid dissent with his fellow climbers.

Ascent vs. Assent

Wrong: I got his ascent to proceed.

Right: I got his assent to proceed.

Ascent (uh-CENT) is the opposite of descent. It is act of moving from a lower place to a higher one, while assent (same pronunciation) means agreement. That same mountain climber should get the assent of his sherpa before beginning the ascent.

More next time!


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