Seven English Words You Will Be Shocked To Know You’ve Been Using Wrongly
The English language can be somewhat confusing at times, especially when you fail to update yourself on the meanings of words regularly.
If you have ever heard someone say, “I was literally scared to death?”, that’s impossible simply because the dead can’t talk. Here are seven more English words you probably have been using wrong.
People sometimes use the word “bemused” in place of “amused,” but the two words are not synonyms. Bemused means that you’re confused or bewildered.
While this word is popular in certain dialects, “irregardless” simply doesn’t exist in the English language. The word that you’re looking for is “regardless.” For example, “Regardless of the cost, they said they’re going to have a society wedding.”
The word “literally” is literally one of the most misused words in the English language. This word is often used as a way to emphasize something that happened: “I literally died laughing.”
The word refers to something that actually happened, without exaggeration, such as, “The tornado that came through literally destroyed every house in its path.”
A lot of people believe that the word “peruse” means to read something quickly. As a matter of fact, the opposite of this is true. Peruse means to “read with thoroughness or care.” Used correctly, you would say, “I spent at least an hour perusing my notes so that I fully understood it.”
This word is one of the words in the English language that has become completely disconnected from its origin. A lot of the time, it is used as a compliment or to describe a good feeling: “That outfit looks terrific!” or “I slept great and feel terrific today!”
However, the origin and proper meaning of the word is completely different, and means “very bad” or “exciting fear”. You might hear something like, “I just saw a terrific accident on my way home from work,” which would unfortunately sound strange in modern language.
Most people think that the term ambivalent means that you don’t care about something. The word however means that you have contradictory or mixed feelings about a subject matter—not that you’re apathetic.
Used correctly, you could say, “I’m feeling quite ambivalent about where I want to work after graduation this year. I can’t decide whether I should work with a company or start a private business.”
The word “disinterested” is another misunderstood word in the English language. While many people believe that the word means that you’re simply not interested, the original meaning of “disinterested” refers to a lack of bias or being fair and impartial: “We needed a disinterested judge to decide this case.” To indicate that you’re indifferent about something, you should use the word “uninterested.”