Archive: October 29th, 2007

MM: Confusing Words


Which of these words confuse you?


  • Assure: To inform or tell positively. (“There, there, everything will turn out all right in the end, I assure you.”)
  • Insure: To take out a policy to guarantee from loss or harm. (“Congratulations, your car is now insured against accidents, just sign here.”)
  • Ensure: To secure or guarantee. (“Renew now to ensure that you don’t miss an issue!”)


  • Affect: To act on, change. (“How will global warming affect our weather?”)
  • Effect: The result of a change. (“The effect will be warmer winters, more rain, and harsher storms.”)


  • Cite: To quote or identify a source. (“In his report, he cited the New York Times as one of his sources.”)
  • Sight: Vision. (“It’s a miracle! These eyedrops helped him regain his sight!”)
  • Site: A location. (“Come visit my cool new site on the web.”)


  • Lose: To misplace something. (“Darn, I always lose my keys when I’m in a rush.”)
  • Loose: Free from restraint. (“Drat, and now the dog is loose, too!”)

(Believe me, there are plenty more where these come from…. Inspired by Laura‘s request.)