More commonly confused words!
For Organic Mama: her pet peeve is the misuse of “insure,” “ensure,” and “assure.”
Ensure is a verb that means “to secure or guarantee.”
Having two pieces of silver will ensure your safe passage across the River Styxx.
Insure is also a verb, but it means “to guarantee against loss or harm.”
It is wise to insure your home for as much as you can afford; a fire or a hurricane can be devastating to your financial – and emotional – stability.
Assure – also…you guessed it…a verb – means “to declare or state with confidence.”
I assure you, I have no intention of EVER joining a Polar Bear Club.
While it’s difficult to tell whether someone is misusing one of these words in speech (unless you’re listening very carefully or the person is particularly careful in his or her enunciation), it is patently obvious in writing. I’m sorry, but I don’t have a trick to help with the remembering of which word is which; you’ll just have to learn them.
Ms. Kizz asked this question of me today:
“Afforded him WITH no good answers” or “Afforded him no good answers”. I believe it’s the latter but yet again my fanfic addiction has me doubting myself.
Given what I’ve seen of some of the fanfic she reads, she’s got no good reason to question her instincts – some of that stuff is the WORST writing I’ve EVER seen.
While I can’t find any stated rules about this question, my instincts go along with Kizz’s. Afford, in this context, means “to supply or furnish.” It is pretty well understood that one must be supplied or furnished WITH something, so the use of the word “with” is redundant. I say, leave it out – but I have no evidence to back me up on that, so you’re just going to have to take my word on it.