April 9, 2014
You might sound smarter if ... Lesson Three
Thinking about your words before you speak can make you a winner! Below are some examples of non-words that might make you sound like ... well ... like a loser.
If you’re playing Words With Friends® or Scrabble® it’s helpful to ask yourself, “Is that a word?” before you answer.(In case you're wondering, Oxyphenbutazone is a word meaning a metabolite of phenylbutazone. It’s also “part of the single play yielding the highest possible score under American tournament Scrabble® rules.")
Even when you’re not playing a game, thinking about your words before you speak can make you a winner! Below are some examples of non-words that might make you sound like...well...like a loser.
Lesson Three: Is that a word?
Example: I need to unthaw the chicken before the party.
It may sound correct to use unthaw - you know it has something to do with taking something out of the freezer and letting it get to room temperature. But, the word you’re actually looking for is just thaw. To thaw something is to melt it so it becomes soft or liquid. Logically, if you unthaw the frozen chicken, you're keeping it frozen.
Example: I’m going to that party, irregardless of how you feel.
You’re probably combining two words here, irrespective and regardless, to say what you really mean – regardless. The prefix ir is a negative one, so if you add it to an already negative word, you're making a double negative (Ah, ha! In Lesson One I told you we'd get to double negatives).
Example: He supposably went to the party with her.
This just isn’t a word. You mean supposedly, meaning accepted or believed as true.
Example: After eating that chicken, I feel nauseous.
You're close. Nauseous does mean causing the feelings of nausea. But, nauseated is how you feel. If you're nauseated you're about to vomit.
Next time you find yourself feeling nauseated from eating the supposedly thawed chicken at the party, regardless of how you feel, you might sound smarter if you ask yourself, “Is that a word?”
You might sound smarter if you read Lessons One and Two. Next in our series, “Commas, Periods and Ellipses, Oh My!”
Written by Lindsay Dudeck
Lead Communications Strategist