Word War: On Behalf Of vs In Behalf Of

Today's installment of Word War is rather different as we are going to compare two phrases instead of standalone words. So let’s begin with the now clichéd engager: When you are representing your department, do you act on behalf of or in behalf of everyone else? Which of the two expressions is correct? Well, both... Continue Reading →

Word War: Continuously vs Continually

When you make the same mistake again and again, would you describe your behavior as something that happens continuously or continually? These terms, along with their adjective forms continual and continuous, are often used interchangeably in speech and writing, obviously because they both come from the verb continue. But style guides urge writers to practice... Continue Reading →

Word War: Discreet vs Discrete

When you’re trying to be careful about your actions or behavior or both, would describe yourself as discreet or discrete? This pair of homophones has driven writers and editors alike crazy as the confusion between them are normally observed in writing. So which one means “careful” and what does the other one mean then? Discreet... Continue Reading →

Word War: Come vs Go

When you tell people to move from one place to another, do you tell them to come to or go to that location? In 2016, I was assigned in Tacloban City to take care of our training there. One day, we were at the pantry during our break, and I was eating some sandwiches with... Continue Reading →

Word War: Language vs Dialect

In my Word War post yesterday, I mentioned that bring and take have the same equivalent “in most, if not all, languages in the Philippines.” I have received several direct messages from people saying that there are only two languages in the Philippines—Filipino and English. What about the rest, like Hiligaynon, Bisaya, Waray-Waray, Kinaray-a, Chavacano,... Continue Reading →

Word War: Bring vs Take

When you move something from one place to another, do you bring or take it with you? We use both bring and take to describe carrying or transporting an object or person from a place to somewhere else. To a lot of Filipinos, the subtle difference between bring and take is confusing. How come? In most,... Continue Reading →

Word War: Especially vs Specially

When you save something just for someone, do you say that you it's especially or specially for them? Either sounds correct. And that is understandable because both especially and specially are adverbs, which are often interchangeable. At the same time, there are situations where either is a better choice. How do we determine which is... Continue Reading →

Word War: Farther vs Further

The only time someone told me my grammar sucks was when I told him to get the first cab going home because his house was farther than mine. That led to an argument whether the correct word was farther or further. To be fair, he was drunk, and I was rather under the influence of alcohol—fine,... Continue Reading →

Word War: Octopuses vs Octopi

When you see a bunch of octopus and your friends ask you how many there are, would you say you saw eight octopuses or octopi? Speakers of the English language are divided about the plural of the word octopus.  Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary, and American Heritage Dictionary affirm that both plural forms are correct, with... Continue Reading →

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