By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated, November 14, 2013)
Elicit: (verb) to obtain a response
Even after apologizing and begging for forgiveness, Boggy was unable to elicit a response from the sullen parrot.
Illicit: (adjective) illegal, immoral, against the rules
After Vera had an illicit affair with Rhonda’s husband, Rhonda took revenge by sneaking into Vera’s house and moving all of her belongings four inches to the left.
Emigrate: (verb) leave a country of residence
Ricky emigrated after his country lost the international Lawn Mower Racing championships.
Immigrate: (verb) move to a new country
He immigrated to a nation where greater investments were made to support the training of lawn mower racing athletes.
Enervate: (verb) destroy or weaken the vitality or strength of something
He was enervated after playing video games for 72 consecutive hours while consuming nothing but Pop Tarts and ostrich jerky.
Energize: (verb) invigorate, excite
After drinking 16 cups of coffee, Norbert felt sufficiently energized to deal with the snakes in the bathtub.
Most reputable sources consider these two words to be interchangeable when referring to titles:
His new book was titled/entitled Billy Badger and the Confused Musk Ox.
However, many people object to the use of entitled in this way, so it’s safer to avoid it. Entitled also has a more widely respected meaning: it refers to legal rights, justified claims, or being deserving of something.
According to local laws, Wilhelmina was entitled to half of the revenues from Spudrick’s “Cupcake Wars” fan fiction.
Eminent: (adjective) famous or superior
Vanna was an eminent athletic coach who had trained top athletes in the sports of thumb wrestling, chess boxing, extreme ironing, and cheese rolling.
Immanent: (adjective) present, inherent, or existing within
A born-again Pastafarian, Norbert believed that the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s divine presence was immanent in all humans, most apes, and a few of the more spiritually aware hamsters.
Imminent: (adjective) impending, soon to happen
The dog believed that starvation was imminent whenever his food bowl had been empty for five minutes.
Envelop: (verb) surround, cover completely, enclose
When the Blob was dieting, it would still envelop its victims but would only consume their hats and shoes.
Envelope: (noun) a container for a letter, typically made of paper
Winston placed seventeen copies of “The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II“ in large envelopes and mailed them to his enemies.
Exercise: (noun) physical activity; practice to develop a skill, as in math exercises; (verb) engage in physical activity
Lenora wondered if hunting for Cheetos lost in the sofa cushions counted toward the daily recommended amount of exercise.
After attempting unsuccessfully to complete a series of math exercises, Kirk discovered the problem: he was using muffins instead of numbers.
Bongo got plenty of exercise chasing the ring-tailed lemurs out of his rose garden each morning.
Exorcise: (verb) drive away an evil spirit
By shaking a tea kettle full of skittles over the possessed chihuahua and chanting the lyrics to Rebecca Black’s song “Friday,” Melburg was able to exorcise the evil spirit from his beloved pet.
- Casagrande, J. (2006). Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language tor Fun and Spite. Penguin, New York.
- Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. (2004). 100 Words Almost Everyone Confuses & Misuses. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin Company.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2013). Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Merrriam-Webster.com.
- O’Conner, P. T. (1996). Woe Is I, the Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons.
- Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. (2013). Oxford University Press. OALD8.OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com.