8 Commonly Confused Words


Credit to the good folks at In Our Write Minds for posting the cool graphic below. It’s a handy reminder about commonly confused words.

As an aside: I don’t recall anyone I know confusing “flair and flare,” but I suppose it’s possible.

Also, I am of the opinion that the distinction between lie and lay is fast becoming obsolete. I haven’t checked, but I am guessing that lay as a present tense, intransitive verb is already listed in dictionaries. When more people use a word “incorrectly” than use it “correctly” (e.g., I think I’ll lay down for a nap) over many years, they eventually cease being incorrect because common usage wins out and becomes formally accepted.

Do you know anyone who commands his dog to lie down?

This kind of thing still matters to many people though; so, I recommend at least understanding the traditional distinction between lie and lay. In fact, I included it in my own recently published list of commonly confused words.

Commonly Misused WordsSource: Online Schooling

About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Kim @ In Our Write Minds
    Kim @ In Our Write Minds07-13-2011

    I’m one of the two people on the planet who tells her dog to “lie down.” I’m fighting a losing battle, I’m afraid.

    And I’m with you on the “flare/flair” thing. If it were me, I can think of a bunch of more commonly misused or confused words, but that’s OK. The graphic gave me a needed chuckle today!

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko07-14-2011

      Ha! You have one of the few grammatically correct dogs in America. ­čÖé And, yes, I reposted it because I like stuff that makes me think and laugh at the same time. Thanks so much for commenting, Kim.

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