Our previous “writing mistakes” posts dealt with solely with homophones and near homophones – Part 1 and Part 2. To keep things interesting, we’ve expanded our reach to include words that have confusing usage.
If you’re interested in sharpening your writing tools, then take a look at these five mistakes:
Bimonthly vs. semi-monthly
Both “bimonthly” and “semi-monthly” mean twice a month – but bimonthly also means every two months. Your best bet is to avoid the terms all together and use “twice a month” or “every two months” in their place.
Comprise vs. compose
“Comprise” means include and consist of: Does your portfolio comprise stocks and bonds? “Compose” means to make up: Equities compose your entire portfolio.
Dependant vs. dependent
“Dependant” is a noun that means one who relies on another: Do you have any dependants? “Dependent” is an adjective that means depending on: Some investors do not like being dependent on advisors.
Fewer vs. less
“Fewer” refers to individual units, while “less” refers to bulk measures: Therefore: There will be fewer shocks to the market this quarter; People will enter retirement with less money.
Nation vs. country
“Nation” primarily refers to a country’s people: The nation faces ongoing political uncertainty. “Country” refers to a territory with its own government: Gross national product is growing in that country.
That’s all the writing mistakes we’ll cover for now. Happy writing!