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June 2012 Volume 8 Issue 6

The Write Stuff

June 2012  Volume 8 Issue 6

Choose the Right Word

You probably figured out when you were still in elementary school that the English language is filled with “minefields” in the form of words that sound alike or are similarly spelled, but have diverse meanings. Even as a grown-up, you may misuse these tricky words, so here are some tips to help you out:


Apprise and appraise

Apprise means “give notice to,” while appraise means “determine the worth of something.”


Please apprise me when the valuation report is completed.

We appraised the company’s value before seeking a buyer.


Disburse and disperse

Disburse means “to pay, distribute or scatter,” while disperse means “to drive off, spread widely or cause to vanish.”


We disbursed our annual bonuses last week.

A number of clients have dispersed to other providers.


Than and then

Than means “in contrast to,” while then means “next.”


We have more great products than our competitors.

Our catalog comes out in August, then our special offers debut in September.


Whose and who’s

Whose is the possessive form of “who” or “which,” while who’s is the contraction of “who is.”


Whose idea has the most value?

Who’s going to be able to go the distance?


Accept and except

Accept means “to agree with, take in or receive,” while except means “apart from.”


We accept your decision.

Everyone is in agreement, except for Jenna and Gabe.


All right and alright

All right means “fine or OK,” while alright is not a word.


The direction our company is taking is all right with me.


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