Attorneys judge you by how well you write. Look at the distinctions between these misused words.
Allies versus Alleys
Allies are people who are in friendly association with you: The U.S. has several allies.
Alleys are spaces between buildings: Don’t walk down dark alleys.
Because versus Since
Because provides an explanation: Be careful how you write your report because well-educated people will read it.
Since refers to time: Since when did he start calling in sick?
Clinch versus Clench
You clinch a deal but you clench your hands.
Clinch means to settle or confirm: Let’s clinch the deal.
Clench means to squeeze together or to make a fist: He showed his anxiety by clenching his jaw.
Council, Counsel and Consul
Don’t refer to an attorney as a council. This misused word offends them. A council is a group of people: The city council discussed the pot holes on Main Street.
Counsel or counselor is another name for an attorney. It is a noun. It can also be used as a verb when it refers to giving advice: She decided to counsel the new nurse.
A consul is a foreign representative: The Chinese Consul lives in Washington DC.
Health care versus Healthcare
A lot of people have misused words for health care. Healthcare is one word when it is used as an adjective: The surgeon is a healthcare provider who works in a healthcare institution.
Health care is a noun that describes a care delivery system: The politicians attempted to alter health care by changing the reimbursement system.
Principle versus Principal
Principles govern behavior: LNCs follow ethical principles.
A principal is the head of school. This often misused word also refers to an important person in a law firm or something important: The patient’s principal diagnosis was septic shock. The principal of the law firm decided to file suit.
Regime, Regimen and Regiment
A dictatorship is a totalitarian regime: The South American regime was oppressive.
A patient undergoes treatment regimen: The patient is undergoing a medication regimen with Plavix.
A regiment is a military unit of soldiers: The regiment marched forth.
Stationary versus Stationery
Stationary means fixed in one spot: He fell off a stationary bike.
Stationery is a noun that means paper: She found a box of stationery and wondered why she needed it since she had access to email.
Misused words will reveal your lack of skill in writing. Your spell checker will not warn you so spend some time learning definitions. I also recommend reading well-written material to train your eye to appreciate the nuances in English.
Study my Writing Handbook for LNCs to get more tips like these to polish your writing and show your professionalism.
Sharpen your writing skills with our Writing Handbook for LNCs. Put Pat Iyer by your elbow and never wonder again about whether you are using the right grammar, punctuation spelling or report formats.