Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Daily Nugget #2

[why commas save lives]

As with all languages, English can be tricky when there are words which are spelled similarly, pronounced exactly the same way, yet have completely different meanings.

Here's a short quiz for you to try:
1) As the new school year approaches, many parents and their children flock to bookstores such as Popular to stock up on ____________ and other school necessities.

2)If you really need to pick up a phone call while in the car, make sure you only do so when the vehicle is ____________.

Pronounced exactly the same way, with a difference of only one letter in the spelling, but often confused!

Here are the answers:
1) stationEry - writing and other office materials
2) stationAry - not moving

Here's a simple trick to help you remember:
Just remember that stationEry with an 'e' is associated with Examinations and Envelopes!
Another pair of words that is often confused is: COMPLEMENT vs COMPLIMENT.

Complement (verb) has 2 meanings:
1 - contribute extra features to (someone or something) in such a way as to improve or emphasize their qualities
2 - add to or make complete
e.g. The black shoes complement your outfit perfectly.

Compliment (verb) means:
- politely congratulate or praise (someone) for something
e.g. I complimented her on her well-matched outfit that made her look very elegant.

How to remember:
Tell yourself this - "Compliment with an 'i' is something I would like people to do to me!"

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