Some Problem Words

And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.

---T. S. Eliot

Each link below takes you to information about some of the problematic and easily misused words that can damage your writing and confuse your readers:

  • and/or  and word pairs with a diagonal slash such as he/she, body/mind”, etc.

British- and American-English Confusions

Write and spell consistently in one or the other; don't use both in the same piece.

Being accustomed to reading British writing, some well-read or academic American writers sometimes use British rather than American spellings and punctuationa mistake that many readers do notice.

See Style Guides and Dictionaries for information regarding British and American language differences.


Your use and misuse of words affects how
seriously others take you.


See also



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Copyright ©2007 Donna Reeder