By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated, November 14, 2013)
Grisly: (adjective) revolting, gruesome, horrifying
Wayne thought that he had walked in on a grisly scene, but it turned out to be Noel’s newest three-dimensional ketchup art masterpiece.
Grizzly: (noun) a species of bear
The grizzly bear broke into the cabin and ate Xavier’s collection of celebrity-shaped potatoes.
Technically, healthful means health-promoting and healthy means in good health. However, healthful has been so frequently used to indicate health-promoting that this use is now accepted by most.
It’s important to eat a healthful breakfast said Marla while lighting her cigarette with a flame thrower.
Marla was surprisingly healthy, given that she drank heavily and wrestled alligators on weekends.
Historic things have a place in history because they are famous or important in some way. Historical things are related to past events. A landmark is historic; an essay about World War II is historical.
Elvis visited all the historic landmarks in Craptown, including the spot where the town’s founder, Cornelius Whackadoodle, cursed the town and everyone in it.
Ella’s historical essay on the evolution of the Finnish Wife Carrying Competition inspired the establishment of a similar local event: the Craptown Sheep Carrying Race.
Hoard: (noun) a stash of something, usually kept hidden; (verb) collect and hide a large group of items (usually valuable items, though they may only be valuable to the hoarder)
Elvira kept a hoard of Chocodiles in the basement for emergencies.
Norton hoarded waffle irons so that he would be prepared in case of a worldwide waffle iron shortage.
Horde: (noun) A large crowd or group
When the raging horde arrived at the gate, Nora told them to go away and come back later once she’d finished watching Mr. Belvedere.
When added to the beginnings of words, hyper means more and hypo means less.
The hyperactive potbellied pigs ran around the kitchen making a mess and ruining Irving’s nice clean floors.
The hypoactive cat was often mistaken for a striped meatloaf.
The person who implies suggests something; the person who infers concludes or deduces something based upon reasoning and evidence. In both cases, no explicit statement is made; the one who implies indicates something in a subtle way without saying it outright, whereas the one who infers deduces something based on subtle or indirect indicators.
Zora implied that Mindy was insane by spinning her finger in circles next to her own ear whenever Mindy spoke.
Mindy inferred that Zora was an unpleasant person based on Zora’s tendency to make rude gestures when others were speaking.
Incredible: (adjective) sufficiently implausible to cause disbelief, extraordinary
Marlena told an incredible story about a singing buffalo.
Incredulous: (adjective) doubtful, skeptical, disbelieving (note: this word does not mean difficult or impossible to believe)
Melvin was incredulous until Marlena brought him to the field where he heard the buffalo sing Monster Mash.
Ingenious: (adjective) brilliant, inventive, original, or clever
Mephisto, who was an ingenious inventor, created a time machine so that he could go back in time and prevent himself from watching Battlefield Earth.
Ingenuous: (adjective) candid, frank, naive, guileless, unsuspecting, or innocent
Just over a decade ago, an ingenuous young man accepted movie tickets to Battlefield Earth from a woman who pretended to be his friend; luckily, the naive young man’s future self arrived in a time machine to stop him from sitting through the entire movie.
- 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