Grammar

Date adopted: 
December 11, 2019
Last update: 
August 28, 2020

Missused words

Here are some words we sometimes use incorrectly. For more information about these common errors and other guidance, visit Grammar Girl. (It’s an American site but much of the guidance still applies.)

  • ​among and between (gen​​erally speaking, use “between” for specific, one-to-one relationships and “among” for less defined, collective relationships) cement and concrete (concrete is the mixture; cement is an ingredient of concrete)
  • comprised (don’t add “of” to “comprised”, e.g., “the committee comprises six members”)
  • English and French (always write them with capital letters at the beginning, in all instances)
  • fewer and less (use “fewer” for things you can count one by one, “less” for things you can’t count individually)
  • fulsome (“fulsome” means excessive and offensive to good taste; it doesn’t have positive connotations)
  • linkages and links (keep things simple and use “links” unless you specifically mean a system of links or linking different issues in political negotiations)
  • podium and lectern (a podium is what you stand on and a lectern is what you stand behind)
  • reactionary (“reactionary” means extremely conservative, resisting change; it doesn’t mean “reactive”)
  • unveil (only use “unveil” when something is literally going to be unveiled, for example, at an event)​