Some Confusing Words

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 11:00 pm

We have many words in the English language that have subtle differences between them. If you know these differences, you will be confident that you are conveying the meaning you intend.

The five sets of confusing words we will cover today are:
Adverse vs. Averse
Uninterested vs. Disinterested
Suppose vs. Supposed
Oriented vs. Orientated
Democratic Party vs. Democrat Party

Adverse vs. Averse
Adverse = unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect
Averse = not fond of; seeking to avoid
Examples:
Mom had an adverse reaction to the medication.
They experienced adverse weather conditions.
Charles is averse to high-risk investments.

Uninterested vs. Disinterested
Uninterested = not interested
Disinterested = unbiased
Examples:
Leila seemed uninterested in history.
Because Dorothy was disinterested, she acted as the mediator.

Suppose vs. Supposed
Suppose = to assume to be real or true; to consider as a suggestion
Supposed = intended; required; firmly believed; permitted
Examples:
I suppose you will tell me when it’s time for dinner.
Suppose we go to the movie now … will that work for your schedule?
We were supposed to meet at the theater.
He is supposed to be at work at 6:00 p.m.

Oriented vs. Orientated
You may use either word to mean “adjusted or located in relation to surroundings or circumstances,” though orientate tends to be used more often in British English than American English.
Examples:
The house had its large windows oriented toward the ocean view.
OR
The house had its large windows orientated toward the ocean view.

Democratic Party vs. Democrat Party
Both the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style recommend the uppercase adjective Democratic in such uses as Democratic Party, Democratic-controlled Legislature, or Democratic senator. Use lowercase in generic descriptions such as a democratic society. Use the noun Democrat(s) to describe party members or adherents.

 

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