We admit it – we’re drawn to anything that references the movie “The Princess Bride,” a 1987 film classic starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright.
One of the characters in the film, a criminal named Vizzini, frequently uses the word “Inconceivable.” He uses it so often that another character says to him, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
PR Daily uses the example of Vizzini and “Inconceivable!” to introduce its list of 8 words that may not mean what you think they mean.
Which brings us to another confession – we admit that we have misused some of these words ourselves.
For instance, the first word on the list is “comprise,” which PR Daily points out, “is used in the active voice; therefore, ‘comprised of’ is not correct.” If we had a dollar for every time we’ve typed out “comprised of,” we’d treat all of Hockessin to lunch next week.
We’re also guilty of using “poisonous” when we mean “venomous.” However, it is correct to say that iocane powder is poisonous, if you disregard the inconvenient fact that iocane powder also is fictional.
Finally, don’t forget “literally,” the favorite word of Chris Traeger, Rob Lowe’s character on the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. Watch here as he almost uses it correctly. This clip is also a great example of PR/political spin.
Have you ever misused a word? Leave your confession in the comments.