I have a terrible confession to make.
I’m embarrassed to be here admitting this, in a public forum, but I really just don’t know the difference between stationary and stationery.
There, I said it.
There’s a damn lot of words in that Oxford dictionary and a lot of them seem like they are the exact same as other words.
Don’t worry. You’re normal.
That’s why we’ve unpacked the difference between some of the most confusing words in the dictionary, so that you don’t have to.
Criteria and Criterion.
If you thought these words meant the same thing you would be completely misinformed.
Here we go.
Criteria is the plural form of criterion.
A criterion is a standard, but a criteria is two or more standards.
Adverse and Averse.
Adverse is when something is really bad.
For example, you might have an adverse reaction to a common medication… which is bad.
Whereas to be averse to something is to be strongly against it.
Elicit and Illicit.
Elicit is a verb.
For example, “The girl hoped her article on spelling would elicit a positive response.”
Illicit, however, is an adjective for something illegal, like illicit drugs.
Anymore and Any More.
This one gets me every time.
“I do not want to continue jogging anymore,” is one word.
But sometimes ‘any more’ is just like ‘any longer’, such as: “I do not need any more cake.”
Hanged and Hung.
Hanged is only ever used if someone is killed through the process of being… hanged.
For example, “The villain was hanged in the town square.”
Hung, is the past tense of hang, for example, “I just hung out with my friends.”