Even grammar nerds like myself make occasional mistakes, and the words on this list are some of the most common attacks on the English language. The spelling and grammar mistakes on the list range from the more forgivable errors — adverse vs. averse, discreet vs. discrete — to things that native English speakers should learn in elementary school, such as your vs. you’re and its vs. it’s.
One issue that comes up in the article that comes up pretty frequently is the meanings of the words imply and infer. To imply something means to hint at it, whereas to infer means to gather the speaker’s meaning. Therefore, only the speaker can imply while only the listener can infer.
Another problem — one that I admittedly fumble with myself — is that of farther vs. further. Taking something farther indicates a physical distance, while further is representative of a metaphorical or figurative distance. The example that the article provides is ¨We can take our business plan no further,” which is a great representation of the word’s real meaning.
Which of these word pairings do you find most difficult? Are there any spelling and grammar mistakes you see or make that aren’t on the list?