13 commonly misused words hospital leaders should know

Hannah Mitchell - Print  | 

Hospital leaders may be using one of these 13 words incorrectly, according to a Sept. 6 report by CNBC contributors.

Grammar experts Kathy and Ross Petras compiled a list of words that are often misused because they sound similar to frequently used words.

Here are 13 words you may be using incorrectly:

  1. "Alternatively" and "alternately"
    Alternatively refers to one or more choices or possibilities, while alternately refers to two or more things happening after each other.

  2. "Explication" and "explanation"
    Explanation means to explain something that’s not clear, while explication means to carefully tease out deeper meanings, usually referring to literary texts.

  3. "Definitive" and "definite"
    Definitive means authoritative, final, decisive or most reliable. It is often mixed with definite, which means exact.

  4. "Disinterested" and "uninterested"
    Uninterested means not showing interest, while disinterested means impartial or free from bias.

  5. "Economical" and "economic"
    The word economic relates to the economy, but economical means efficient, prudent or thrifty.

  6. "Enormity" and "enormous"
    Enormity usually means large but in a negative way. For example, "the enormity of the dictator’s crimes." It wouldn't be used to describe something positive, such as a co-worker's accomplishments.

  7. "Historical" and "historic"
    Every day that has passed is a historical day, but only a few days are historic. Historical means "based in history." Historic means significant, important or famous in history.

  8. "Incredulous" and "incredible"
    Incredulous means to be skeptical or unbelieving, where incredible means amazing.

  9. "Ingenuous" and "ingenious"
    Ingenuous means innocent or childlike simplicity, while ingenious means very clever or resourceful.

  10. "Methodology" and "method"
    A methodology is often incorrectly found in reports to explain research methods. Yet methodology refers to studying or examining methods.

  11. "Obviate" and "obvious"
    Obvious means clear or easy to understand. When you obviate something, you do away with it or make it unnecessary.

  12. "Opportunistic" and "opportune"
    Opportunistic and opportune mean similar things, but one has a negative connotation. Opportunistic means to take advantage of circumstances without regard to ethics, whereas opportune means to appropriate for a particular action or convenient.

  13. "Unexceptionable" and "unexceptional"
    When something is unexceptionable, it is something not open to objection. Unexceptional is something that doesn't vary from the norm.

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