Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More Misused Words

To allude to something (or make an allusion, below) is to mention it indirectly.  Elude means to escape from something.  Evade is also similar to elude except that evade means to escape or avoid something by the use of strategy or deceit.
The plaintiff alluded to her pre-existing condition, but never testified about it directly.
The defendant attempted to elude the investigator’s question by changing the subject.

An allusion is an implied or indirect reference.  An illusion is a misleading image or impression.  
Counsel did not directly address, but made an allusion to, the policy arguments supporting her client’s position. 
The court found the plaintiff’s recollection of the events to be an illusion.  
A compliment is a flattering remark.  A complement is something that completes or makes another thing perfect.
The court complimented the parties on their well-written briefs. 
The defendant’s oral argument complemented his brief well.

Discreet means acting prudently, with good judgment, or in an unobtrusive way.  Discrete means distinct.
The undercover officer discreetly approached the defendant so as not to raise suspicion.
Maritime issues are governed by a discrete body of law.
Farther refers to physical distance or proximity.  Further means figurative distance.  If you can’t decide which to use, stick with further.
The defendant lived farther from the accident scene than did the plaintiff. 
The argument the defendant intentionally spoliated evidence could not be further from the truth.

Over/more than
The term “over” refers to physical proximity while the term “more than” refers to amounts.
The courthouse is over 10 miles from my office. 
It costs more than $100 to file a civil complaint.

Precede means to come before.  Proceed means to go forward or continue doing something.
The arguments on the motions preceded the jury’s entry into the courtroom.
After the objection, the expert proceeded with her testimony.

A principal is the head of an organization or an amount of money.  A principle is a basic tenet or law.
The defendant was ordered to pay $15,000 principal plus post-judgment interest. 
The court’s decision was guided by the principle of stare decisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.