Another “confused words” edition:
This one comes from Kizz; she wants to know the difference between inquire and enquire.
These words both mean “to ask.” The use of enquire has pretty much fallen out of Americans’ vocabulary – it’s mostly a British word now – though a few old-schooler American grammar snobs still use enquire when they’re being general and inquire when they’re being all formal and official about the asking:
“When my old high school sweetheart saw me in the grocery store, he enquired about my family and my job.”
“The insurance agent called to inquire about the accident I witnessed the other day.”
I’m throwing this one in because, a few weeks ago, one of my students challenged my use of the word disinterested;
A disinterested person is someone who is objective or neutral about something. An uninterested person is just plain bored.
“We consulted a disinterested mediator to help us work out custody arrangements after our divorce.”
“I was entirely uninterested in the chatter coming from the guy in the airplane seat next to me.”
Lastly, I saw this one a few times in research papers:
Compliment – with an i – is either a verb that means to praise or congratulate or a noun which is that praise or congratulation. Complement – with an e – means to complete, enhance, or round out.
“I was complimented by my boss for the presentation I made to the board last week.”
“That scarf really complements your coloring.”
As always, Grammar Wednesday subject fodder is greatly appreciated! You’ve got questions; I’ve got answers. Happy Wednesday!