Every language has some distinct features of its own, so does English. There are many words that are spelt and pronounced the same way (almost!) but have different meanings and usage- both confusing and amusing! Let’s look at few of them and how they manage to confuse us!
- Ordinance: Local law or regulation
Ordnance: Military equipment mainly weapons and ammunition
Ex: You cannot touch any ordnance that is present in the museum by ordinance.
- Nutritional: Relating to the process of nutrition
Nutritious: Healthy to eat
Ex: Nutritional information
- Obsolete: No longer in use
Obsolescent: Process of being obsolete
Ex: The iPhone 4 is not yet obsolete but it’s obsolescent.
(It hasn’t become obsolete yet, but it will soon be.)
- Observance: Act of obeying a law, rule or religious custom
Observation: It is the corresponding noun for observe, but it means “to take notice”
Ex: She will be under observation on the day of observance of Gandhi Jayanti.
- Noisy: To make a lot of noise
Noisome: Unpleasant or offensive to the senses (especially the sense of smell)
Ex: The noisy and noisome garbage collection van is back!
- Complement: An add-on to improve something
Compliment: An admiring remark
Ex: That scarf complements your dress so well. I’m sure you’ll get lots of compliments!
- Principle: A rule or belief
Principal: The head of a school
Ex: Our Principal is a man of principles.
- Alternately: To take turns while doing something
Alternatively: As an option
Ex: We have two alternatives: to either go by train or drive alternately.
- Excess: More than sufficient quantity
Access: Gain entry or right to enter
Ex: Do you have access to the excess stationary in the office?
- Loose: Not tightly fitted
Lose: To be deprived of something/someone
Ex: Did you lose that loose jacket of mine?
Remember to lose the extra “o”!
Always use these words with caution and get compliments from all your friends for your good English skills!