Speaking Tips: Language use – word pairs

Have you ever heard the wrong word used to describe something, and realized the mistake happened because of similarities? Here are a couple of examples, and how they’re used/misused:

Simple vs. Easy

These words are not only used interchangeably, but also as a redundant pair on a regular basis. If fact, it is simple and easy to use these words incorrectly.

If you find the difference confusing, think of them like this: It’s simple to get more aerobic activity in your life, just walk for an hour each day. However, that may not be easy for everyone.

Necessary vs. Sufficient

These don’t get mixed up by the author or speaker so much, but sometimes by the listener. For example, it’s considered necessary to have valuable content in your blog for it to be a success. But all the great content in the world won’t insure success. It is necessary to have that content, but not sufficient. When you’re giving advice about things that have to happen, it may be important to mention that more may be needed.

Think about weight-loss ads that say “success is not typical.” That’s because their products were just one of the necessary steps in the overall program that made the photos you see happen.

What kind of word misuse do you encounter? Better, which ones have you misused yourself?

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