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June 15, 2022

            We’re back with another set of similar sounding words with entirely different meanings.

Our illustrious former Henderson Writer’s Group el-presidente, Linda Webber, used to present grammar lessons each week on the back of our meeting agendas before she moved on to greener pastures (literally). The gist of them are the improper use of words.

As a reminder, I’ll add the standard intro below before I get into the word list.


            I once wrote a screenplay with my bud, Doug Lubahn (RIP), a famous musician. During our correspondence, I told him I was waiting with “baited” breath instead of “bated” breath. He never let me live that one down.

            The proper use of words is something a lot of writers don’t always get. So, for your reading pleasure, below is a list of words and how to use them properly.

            The list is not near complete, so that’s why this is called Grammar Lesson Four.

            Once again, my many thanks to Linda Webber, who has gone through the trouble to compile these words all in one place for me to steal and present to you here at Fred Central.

These are common words that are often used out of context. They can be a quandary for a writer, and a quick trip to a dictionary, or online.


Appraise                     To assess

I’ll appraise the house’s value next week.

Apprise                       To inform someone

Tomorrow, Mary would apprise the committee of the bad news.

Assent                         Agreement, approval

Joe gave his assent with a nod.

Ascent                         The action of rising or climbing up

The balloon began its ascent into the heavens.

Aural                          Relating to the ears or hearing

The band was an aural assault with their wall of amps set at full volume.

Oral                            Relating to the mouth or spoken

Marvin gave an oral report instead of a written one.

Balmy                         Pleasantly warm

The balmy day lent itself to water skiing.

Barmy                        Foolish or crazy

He was a barmy sort, prone to rash actions.

Bare                            Naked, or to uncover

She came out of the shower bare, didn’t bother with a towel and never blinked an eye when he walked in on her.

Bear                            To carry or put up with

It was too much frustration for one person to bear.

Accept                        To agree, to receive or do

He was ready to accept the consequences.

Except                        Not including

It was okay, except for that one thing.

Adverse                      Unfavorable or harmful

After all, there were adverse consequences to shooting him.

Averse                        Strong disliking or opposed

She had such an averse reaction to him, it was clear on her face.

Advice                        Recommendations about what to do

My advice is usually right.

Advise                         To recommend something

His lawyer can advise you before you make another move.

Affect                         To change or make a difference to

If you do this, you can affect the outcome.

Effect                          A result or to bring about a result.

When he spilled the acid, its effect on the Ph of the entire lake was instantaneous.

Aisle                            A passage between rows of seats

She walked down the aisle in the theatre.

Isle                              An island

The ship steered clear of the small isle and headed for the deep channel.


            Once again, thanks to Linda Webber for her hard work putting these original words together!

            Happy writing!

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