Confused, misused and overused words

“She claimed”, “very unique”, “armed gunmen” what do these phrases have in common? None of them should be seen in your news stories! They are just some of the phrases which are commonly confused, misused and overused by student journalists.

Working journalists sometimes use these phrases too. Those who do are either sloppy or ignorant (maybe both!). Do not let this description apply to you! You need to read and remember the words in this category. You will be penalised in your journalism assessments if you ignore the advice.

In particular, watch out for (and, if necessary, check your dictionary to confirm use of) the following words:

adapt, adopt
advice, advise
affect, effect
all ready, already
amoral, immoral
complement, compliment
confidant, confident
deduce, deduct
definite, definitive
device, devise
faint, feint
faze, phase
formally, formerly
imminent, eminent
insure, ensure, assure
licence (noun), license (verb)
pedal, peddle
proceed, precede.

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