By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated, November 14, 2013)
Quote: (verb) speak or write something that has previously been said or written by someone else; (noun) some dictionaries say that quote may be used as a synonym for quotation
Whenever he did not know the answer to a question, Rupert quoted Shakespeare to confuse his interrogator.
Quotation: (noun) the exact words of one person used by another in speech or writing
“The problem with quotations on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity.”
— Abraham Lincoln
Raise: (verb) bring up (can refer to anything ranging from a subject to a flag to a cloud of dust to a child)
He raised his fists and shouted, I will not eat these hamburgers without ketchup.
Raze: (verb) tear down, destroy (typically refers to a settlement or building)
The queen ordered that Captain Jack’s house be razed after he cooked and ate her favourite pigeon, Lord Featherington IV.
Ravage: (verb) severely damage or destroy
Rhonda used a meat tenderizer to ravage Jeb’s collection of ceramic wombats.
Ravish: (verb) rape or carry off by force (an old-fashioned use for the word); in modern times, ravish is often used to indicate that something enraptures others, filling them with intense delight
Although Matilda’s dress was ravishing, the effect was spoiled by her pork chop hat.
Reek: (noun) a foul smell, (verb) to stink
Miranda reeked of Marmite because she believed that rubbing it on her skin would help her maintain a youthful appearance.
Wreak: (verb) cause something damaging or harmful
She wreaked vengeance on those who refused to wear the hideous sweaters she knitted for them.
Although some dictionaries have started to accept irregardless as a synonym for regardless (which means despite everything), it is a sloppily constructed word (including both ir and less creates a double negative). However, the bigger problem with using this word is that many people will automatically subtract 20 to 50 IQ points from their estimate of your intelligence, so irregardless is best avoided.
Rein: (noun) a strap attached to a bit that is used to guide a horse, (verb) use reins to guide a horse, (verb) restrain or keep under control
Claude grabbed the reigns and urged his horse forward until he had reached the McDonalds drive-through window.
Brody had to rein in his spending because his wife said she would leave him if he bought any more Jar Jar Binks paraphernalia.
Reign: (verb) rule, govern (often used with over); (noun) a period of rule
The king reigned over his subjects with an iron fist, so no one dared make fun of his hilarious toupee.
Restaurateur is correct. Restauranteur is not actually a word.
The restaurateur’s new concept restaurant, Satan’s House of Squid, was not as successful as he had anticipated.
Restive: (adjective) stubborn and unruly (typically due to boredom or dissatisfaction)
The children grew restive during their field trip to the screen door factory.
Restless: (adjective) unable to relax and be still, fidgety (typically due to anxiety or boredom)
The family grew restless while watching the six hours of video that Uncle Norbert had shot during his trip to the Museum of Fake Frogs in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
- 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