Avoid artificial superlatives

Posted Posted in Style, Word Usage

The following text is taken verbatim from the book, 300 Days of Better Writing: A daily handbook for improving your writing written by David Bowman (2010) “Artificial superlatives are words like really, super, and very. People use them in an attempt to get the reader excited about some idea or topic. Consider these sentences. “The Broncos are really great. They are having a very good year.” The problem is that these words don’t actually add anything to the meaning. For […]

Percentage vs. Percentage Point

Posted Posted in Word Usage

A percentage point or percent point is the unit for the arithmetic difference of two percentages. For example, moving up from 20% to 42% is a 22-percentage point increase, but is a 110 percent increase in what is being measured. Let’s see this with an example: Source Text:                         Trump’s job approval has risen from 44 percent on March 16 by 5 percentage points to 49 percent nine days later on […]

as – Misused Words

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This article series aims to eliminate usage errors and help non-native speakers to write clearly and fluently. We suggest that you always do proper research and use style guides effectively. For anything you are not sure of, feel free to ask us. Misused word as Alternatives because Explanation “As” is sometimes used to mean “because.” But do not use it if there is any chance of ambiguity. In the example below, “as” could mean “because” or “when.” Example Avoid “We […]

actual – Misused Words

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Translation_Tips, Uncategorized, Word Usage

This article series aims to eliminate usage errors and help non-native speakers to write clearly and fluently. We suggest that you always do proper research and use style guides effectively. For anything you are not sure of, feel free to ask us. Misused word actual Alternatives current, present. Explanation “Actual” is sometimes used to refer to something that is happening now. However, in English it means “real” or “existing”. Example Avoid “This appropriation is intended to cover basic salaries of […]

to blaze a (new) trail

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Are you as old as I am and therefore able to name the NBA team the legendary basketball player Clyde Drexler is most commonly associated with? If you are getting somewhat on in years and you also follow NBA basketball, then you would answer: Portland Trail Blazers. What I will focus on throughout the rest of my entry is the verb “to blaze a (new) trail.” If you set an example by being the first to do something, you blaze […]

deepen – Misused Words

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This article series aims to eliminate usage errors and help non-native speakers to write clearly and fluently. We suggest that you always do proper research and use style guides effectively. For anything you are not sure of, feel free to ask us. Misused word deepen Alternatives improve, increase, bolster, boost, develop. Explanation “Deepen” is a difficult word to use correctly. In addition to its literal meaning (e.g., deepen a well), it can also be used figuratively to mean “to increase,” […]

to empower

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to empower If you empower someone, you give that person authority or power to do something (The Oxford English Dictionary). Here is an example sentence: The prime minister said, “We have to give more power to women to create a more equitable society.” The prime minister said, “We need to empower women to create a more equitable society.” Which sentence would you and, most importantly, your reader prefer? You’ve guessed it right if you have chosen the second one. Why […]

aim (with the aim to) – Misused Words

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This article series aims to eliminate usage errors and help non-native speakers to write clearly and fluently. We suggest that you always do proper research and use style guides effectively. For anything you are not sure of, feel free to ask us. Misused word: aim (with the aim to) Alternatives with the aim of (doing something), with a view to (doing something, not do something). Explanation This expression actually takes of + the gerund. Example Avoid “List of specific recommendations […]