Here’s a pair of words that a lot of people get wrong. First, the comic (he gets it wrong).
Both anxious and eager refer to anticipating something in the future, but they are different in an important way:
Eager means looking forward to something with pleasure
Anxious means looking forward to something with fear.
I’m eager for you all to get this right, but I’m a little anxious that not everyone will.
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These are some items that have been piling up in my solecism folder. I use the term “small mistakes” advisedly. You shouldn’t make any of them.
- Lego has no plural. The company that owns the word says always to use the singular; never say “Legos.” It’s their football, they make the rules.
- Prescribe means you must; proscribe means you must not.
- Eager means looking to the future with happiness; anxious means looking to the future with fear. You should be eager, not anxious, to meet up with your girlfriend.
- Imply means to suggest; infer means to guess. Okay, an educated guess.
- Compose goes from the parts to the whole; comprise goes from the whole to the parts. Thirteen colonies composed the early USA; the early USA comprised 13 colonies. Never say “is comprised of.”
- Who is for people; that is for things. I am the one who tells you about grammar. A computer screen is a thing that you look at.
- Affect is a verb; effect is a noun. Yes, I know about the exceptions. If you do too, you don’t need to be told about this mistake anyway. A mistake has the effect of making the person seem careless, but it won’t affect me.
That’ll do for now, class. Go and sin no more. Wait! Here’s a test. See if you can tell which picture goes with which word. These words are fairly abstract, and my picture choices are subjective, so if you can defend your choice, count it as correct. I also don’t guarantee that all the words are represented, or that each picture represents only one word.
Maybe one of you WordPress gurus can tell me how to make these pictures go side by side.