More Similar, Often Confused Words

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HONE
means to sharpen. You hone your skills or hone a blade.
HOME as a verb means to aim or move toward a target: The satellite camera homed in on the desert encampment.

IMPLY means to hint at something without specifically stating it:
Felicia’s looks implied that she did not admire my new haircut.
INFER means to deduce, to figure out. I inferred from Felicia’s looks that she didn’t like my new haircut.

FARTHER refers to a greater distance or time: By moving farther from the city, they hoped their money would go farther.
FURTHER is used to express additional efforts beyond those already accomplished: All corporations should set as a goal further increasing customer satisfaction.

FOUNDER as a verb means to fail or degrade: Harry’s efforts to buy a new business foundered because of his credit history.
FLOUNDER is also a verb and means to struggle helplessly, either physically or mentally. Picture a flounder (the fish) flopping around on deck: Elena stammered and floundered when she was given an assignment in which she had no interest.

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1 Comment

Filed under All things having to do with the English language

One response to “More Similar, Often Confused Words

  1. Kathy Sandel

    I have wondered frequently about the home – hone conundrum. I usually use hone incorrectly I guess. I always mean to look it up and never have, but it seems totally incorrect to me to say homing in on something. Just as hone means to sharpen as in being more exacting, i.e. sharpening the edge of a knife, I would think that honing in on something gives the same meaning of exacting. Example: “Using the map, I honed in on the location.” I felt it meant the effort of aiming toward exactitude. Is that even a word????

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