A few days ago, I asked a friend to read a story I wrote. I had edited the story over ten times, yet failed to spot a fatal mistake. I have misplaced the word seized with ceased, twice! So today, I’m helping you, and myself, never forget the difference.
Seize [seez] (verb):
1. to take hold by force; grasp.
2. to grasp mentally.
3. to take possession or control by suddenly laying hold.
Panic seized the crowd when the lights in the theater went out.
Cease [sees] (verb):
1. to stop or discontinue; to come to an end.
2. to pass away; die out.
I was about to walk into my house when I ceased . Something was staring at me from my bedroom window.
I noticed that the sentences I write as examples can well serve as writing prompts. So I suggest you pick one, write a story — no longer than 500 words — about it, and send it to me on the email I posted on “Contact me” page. I will pick the ones I like the most, post them and link back to the bloggers. Start writing! 🙂
Today, I’m posting the differences between another set of commonly confused words.
Ensure [en-shoor, –shur] (verb):
1. to secure, or guarantee.
2. to make secure or safe.
Note: The prefix “en” means “to cause” or “to make”.
He took all the necessary precautions to ensure that his heist would go undisturbed.
Insure [in-shoor, –shur] (verb):
1. to secure against loss of harm.
2. to secure indemnity in case of loss, or damage.
3. to issue or process an insurance policy.
Note: Think “insurance”.
The only ones who care about your health are the ones who pay to insure it.
What are some other words your are confused about?
Today’s similarly written words have no similarities when it comes to meaning. I used to mix up those two words sometimes.
Impede [im-peed] (verb):
to hinder or obstruct.
My online window shopping spreeimpeded my work on my graduation.
Impend [im-pend] (verb):
1. to be imminent or about to happen.
2. to threaten or menace.
I summoned all my energy and focus as the deadline to my graduation project impended.
No, Contentious is not derived from content. It’s not its adjective. It’s not another noun with the same meaning. It’s a totally different word that has a totally different meaning.
Content [kuhn-tent] or Contented [kuhn-ten-tid] (adj.):
satisfied, contempt, agreeing.
You can’t bribe me with your money, I’m contented with my own.
Contentious [kuhn-ten-shuhs] (adj.):
1. argumentative, quarrelsome.
2. causing argument or strife.
When the issue became contentious, the negotiation had to be halted until both parties regained their composure.
This is another set of words I commonly confuse. Turns out, they are not only pronounced alike but they are, more or less, antonyms.
Emerge [ih-murj] (verb):
1. to come forth into view or notice.
2. to rise, as from difficulty.
3. to come into existence.
Little bubbles emerged on the surface of the water. “Someone’s down there,” he yelled, “and he’s breathing.”
Immerge [ih-murj] (verb):
1. to plunge, as into fluid.
2. to disappear by entering into a medium, as the moon into the shadow of the sun.
Having arrived at a dead end, Sergey caught his breath and immerged himself under the surface of the pond.