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identity

Your identity is what makes you "you." If you are having "an identity crisis," then I guess you can't figure out who you are. Good luck with that.

The noun identity can also refer to a name or persona. Criminals tend to use false identities so they won't get caught. If you falsely identify someone, it is a case of "mistaken identity." The word identity doesn't have to be used for a single person either. People refer to "corporate identity" when talking about what makes a company unique.

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

historic/ historical

>Something historic has a great importance to human history. Something historical is related to the past. People with big egos get them mixed up if they say they had a historic family background. Unless they helped win a war, it was probably just historical.
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emigrate/ immigrate/ migrate

Going somewhere? Emigrate means to leave one's country to live in another. Immigrate is to come into another country to live permanently. Migrate is to move, like birds in the winter.
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lay/ lie

The verbs lay and lie are total jerks. People often say lay when they mean lie, but it's wrong to lay around. You have to lay something, anything — lay an egg if you want. But you can lie around until the cows come home!
read more...

concurrent/ consecutive

Bad guys don’t like these words because they often describe jail terms: concurrent means at the same time, and consecutive means one after the other in a series. Con artists would rather serve concurrent terms and get them over with, instead of consecutive ones. read more...

your/ you're

You're is short for "you are" and your shows ownership. If you're getting them mixed up, your secret is safe with us. Better yet, here's help! It's your secret. And now you're about to know more. See? read more...

abhorrent/ aberrant

Abhorrent describes something truly horrible like finding a dead rat in your soup, but something aberrant is just abnormal, like a cat in a pink fedora. read more...

See all Choose Your Words articles »
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