Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again

Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again

by Mignon Fogarty


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Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again by Mignon Fogarty

Millions of people around the world communicate better thanks to Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, whose top-rated weekly grammar podcast has been downloaded more than 30 million times. After realizing her fans were asking the same questions over and over, Mignon decided to focus her attention on those words that continuously confound the masses. In Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again, you'll learn:

- When you should use affect and when effect is right

- Whether you should you say purposely or purposefully

- The difference between hilarious and hysterical

Packed with clear explanations, fun quotations showing the word used in context, and the quick and dirty memory tricks Mignon is known for, this friendly reference guide ends the confusion once and for all and helps you speak and write with confidence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312573379
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 07/05/2011
Series: Quick & Dirty Tips
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 173,198
Product dimensions: 4.86(w) x 7.14(h) x 0.35(d)

About the Author

MIGNON FOGARTY, the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Grammar Girl's Quick And Dirty Tips For Better Writing and The Grammar Devotional. Her straightforward, bite-sized tips on grammar have led to features in the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and an appearance on Oprah. She lives in Reno, Nevada.

Read an Excerpt

A Versus An


Sadly, a lot of people were taught the wrong rule for using the articles a and an. It’s the sound of the next word that determines the word choice, not the first letter.

If the next word starts with a vowel sound, use an. If the next word starts with a consonant sound, use a. That means a word starting with u or o, for example, can require a or an depending on the pronunciation: a unicorn, an uncle, a onetime deal, an owner.


To remember that words starting with certain letters can go either way, set the image in your mind of a man playing a ukulele under an umbrella—an image that uses two u-words that require different articles.


Copyright © 2011 by Mignon Fogarty, Inc.

Table of Contents


Title Page,
A Versus An,
Adieu Versus Ado,
Advice Versus Advise,
Aesthetics Versus Ascetics,
Affect Versus Effect,
Affective Versus Effective,
Allude Versus Elude,
Altar Versus Alter,
Anxious Versus Eager,
Assume Versus Presume,
Astrologer Versus Astronomer,
Bad Versus Badly,
Baited Versus Bated,
Because Of Versus Due To,
Beck and Call Versus Beckon Call,
Born Versus Borne,
Breath Versus Breathe,
Cache Versus Cachet,
Capital Versus Capitol,
Carat, Caret, Carrot, and Karat,
Chute Versus Shoot,
Cite Versus Sight Versus Site,
Complement Versus Compliment,
Compose Versus Comprise,
Conscience Versus Conscious,
Counsel Versus Council,
Currant Versus Current,
Deep-Seated Versus Deep-Seeded,
Defuse Versus Diffuse,
Desert Versus Dessert,
Disinterested Versus Uninterested,
e.g. Versus i.e.,
Especially Versus Specially,
Explicit Versus Implicit,
Farther Versus Further,
Faze Versus Phase,
Fewer Versus Less,
Fictional Versus Fictitious,
Flack Versus Flak,
Flair Versus Flare,
Flesh Out Versus Flush Out,
Flounder Versus Founder,
Foreword Versus Forward,
Former Versus Latter,
Gorilla Versus Guerrilla,
Hangar Versus Hanger,
Hanged Versus Hung,
Heroin Versus Heroine,
Hilarious Versus Hysterical,
Historic Versus Historical,
Hoard Versus Horde,
Home Versus Hone,
I Versus Me,
Imply Versus Infer,
Infamous Versus Notorious,
Inflammable Versus Flammable,
Invaluable Versus Valuable,
Irregardless Versus Regardless,
Lay Versus Lie,
Lightening Versus Lightning,
Lend Versus Loan,
Loath Versus Loathe,
Loose Versus Lose,
Momentarily Versus in a Moment,
Moral Versus Morale,
Me Versus Myself,
Me, My, and Gerunds,
Nauseated Versus Nauseous,
Peak Versus Peek Versus Pique,
Precede Versus Proceed,
Principal Versus Principle,
Prostate Versus Prostrate,
Purposely Versus Purposefully,
Quotation Versus Quote,
Raise Versus Raze,
Reign Versus Rein,
Regime Versus Regimen Versus Regiment,
Reluctant Versus Reticent,
Riffle Versus Rifle,
Segue Versus Segway,
Set Versus Sit,
Silicon Versus Silicone,
Simple Versus Simplistic,
Skiddish Versus Skittish,
Sneaked Versus Snuck,
Stationary Versus Stationery,
Supposably Versus Supposedly,
Tack Versus Tact,
Taught Versus Taut,
Their and They,
Throe Versus Throw,
'Til Versus Till Versus Until,
Trooper Versus Trouper,
Vain Versus Vane Versus Vein,
Viola Versus Voilà,
Wench Versus Winch,
Who Versus Whom,
Yay Versus Yea Versus Yeah,
Honorable Mentions,
About the Author,
Also by Mignon Fogarty,
Dedication & Copyright,

Customer Reviews

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Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Copynet More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and it sure is a great refresher. After reading it, I felt more confident about keeping some of these words straight. I never could remember which was correct between "nauseous" and "nauseated" and I know others who always mix up "anxious/eager," and "lose/loose." This book will help you set them apart. There are also some words you might not confuse, but it's a good read to remember how close they are in spelling, but not so close in meaning: principal/principle, prostate/prostrate, lightening/lightning, til/till/until, and so on. There are also extra words at the back that Grammar Girl defined, so the book has more than 101 words. It's a valuable read, and it'll be a good book that you'll keep close at hand on your reference shelf and refer to often.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
So many, many people need this book. Flesh out vs. flush out. Because of vs. due to. Reign vs. rein (I see that used wrong all the time). I admit, this book has been living in my bathroom for a long time, so I can flesh out my vocabulary while flushing... Anyway, great word choices, great examples that help me to remember... Every writer and blogger and Tweeter should buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fine book for teens girls AND BOYS, as well as a nice refresher for adults. The title should be changed. LLL
n2filmzz More than 1 year ago
Baby boomer or X generation....great book to set it straight especially for those of us that ditched some English classes back in the day....
Mark_NJ More than 1 year ago
This book, like all of Grammar Girl's prior books (and podcasts), is well written with easy-to-understand examples. Like most people, there are words and word pairs that confuse and befuddle me. Grammar Girl clears up a lot of the uncertainty around these words, and provides background information on word orgins in an interesting and fun manner. I now know that when I shuffle cards, I'm actually riffling, and after reading this book, I finally understand why my wife was mad at me when I brought home 14 carrots for our anniversary rather that 14 karats (of gold)! I'm waiting with bated breath for Grammar Girl's next book!
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Kaylinn More than 1 year ago
Being a fan of Mignon Fogarty's service to us word lovers already, this book lived up to my expectations. You can use it as a reference at the point you might be needing to check a word, or you can simply sit and read it for the general information that you can glean and file away mentally for later use. Grammar Girl always states her case in an entertaining way. I can recommend this book without reservation to anyone who cares about our language and wants to use it correctly.
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Sharlene Reyes More than 1 year ago
After i read the sample i wanted to read more. This book is very useful
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Enzo0 More than 1 year ago
Berry byutiful