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List of frequently misused English words
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List of frequently misused English words

The meanings of words in the English language often change over time. Sometimes a meaning becomes entirely reversed, for example nice used to be a negative word meaning "stupid", "wanton", or "lazy", but now means "agreeable", "pleasant" or "attractive". This process is part of the natural evolution of a language, and although it may meet with resistance from prescriptive grammarians, changes that stick are eventually noted in dictionaries.

The list that follows is meant to include only words whose misuse is deprecated by most usage writers, editors, and other arbiters of so-called "correct" English. It is possible that some of the meanings marked Non-standard will pass into Standard English in the future, but at this time all of the below Non-standard phrases are likely to be marked as incorrect by English teachers or changed by editors if used in a work submitted for publication. Several of the examples are pairs of similarly spelled words which are often confused, and which prescriptive grammarians believe should have distinct and separate meanings.

There may be regional variations in grammar, spelling and word-use, especially between different English-speaking countries. Such differences are not seen as wrong once they have gained widespread acceptance in a particular country.

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