Appendix III: Word Wise




each other, one another.

Each other for two only:The couple held each other in their arms. One another for more than two: The committee members were constantly blaming
one another



Earn is a value-laden word. Top footballers and bankers may receive large salaries but it is a matter of opinion whether they earn them. 


Earth, earth.

Optional. So too with Moon and moon, Sun and sun. All other planets and their moons take upper-case initials: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Callisto, etc.


economic – efficient.
economical – frugal, not extravagant, inexpensive.

Thus buying cheap goods is economical but not necessarily economic.


ecumenical – (current) of the Christian world.
oecumenical – (obsolete except for titles)


ed., Ed. editor, edition.


educable, not educatable.



Optional. Educationalist for Burchfield; educationist for The Guardian.


effective – successful; producing desired results.
efficient – economic; operating with minimum waste, energy or money.

A reliable but gas-guzzling vehicle would be effective but inefficient, while solar panels on your roof might be energy-efficient but ineffective with little


e.g. – (exempli gratia) 'for example'.
etc. – (et cetera) 'and the rest'.
i.e. – (id est) 'that is'.

The abbreviation e.g. is used to establish a pattern. One or more instances of like kind are given, implying that there are others: Several UN
members, e.g. France, Germany and Russia, protested at the American and British plans to attack Iraq
. The sentence implies that there were
other UN members who also protested. By contrast, i.e. is used to precede an exhaustive definition of what has gone before: Two Security Council
members, i.e. France and Russia, protested at the American and British plans to attack  Iraq
. This sentence declares that there were no protesting
members other than those cited. The abbreviation, etc., may be used instead of e.g. but never with it: There were many cheeses to choose from:
e.g. cheddar, cheshire, camembert, brie, etc
. (incorrect). Nor should etc. be repeated; one occurrence is sufficient. But note that e.g. and i.e. are
often unnecessary: Several UN members, including France and Germany, protested at the American and British plans to attack Iraq; Many UN
Members, among them France and Germany, protested at…
; Two members of the Security Council, namely France and Russia, protested at… 
Note, too, that these abbreviations never begin sentences and that some house styles, including The Guardian’s1 and The Times’,2 now omit
the points (eg, ie, etc).


egoism, egotism.

These words are used interchangeably in the context of conceit or self-centredness, but egoism is also the term for the psychological theory that
people are motivated by self-interest, and the political and ethico-philosophical belief that they ought to be.


elder, older.

As comparatives of old, older is correct in all circumstances. Elder may be preferred to compare the ages of people, especially family members
(her elder sister), but animals, objects and concepts all take older. Elder must also be followed by a noun, 
whether stated or understood (Jane is
the elder 
(sister)), while older need not (The vase was much older than we thought).


elderly, geriatric.

These words are not synonyms. Geriatric is to do with the care of the elderly. Thus we should speak of an elderly person and a geriatric patient.
As a noun, geriatric can be offensive (we do not call children paediatrics).



Unnecessary with but: no one else but…; nothing else but…


email, e-mail.

The principal spelling is now email, The Guardian declaring e-mail to be virtually archaic.3 But words with single-letter prefixes are usually
hyphenated for a reason. It would be rather odd to refer 
to casual tops as tshirts or reversals of government policy as uturns.


emotional, emotive.

Emotional – displaying, or disposed to display, emotions: He became quite emotional when Wales scored the winning try. Emotive – likely to
produce an emotional response: Cloning is a highly emotive issue.


enamoured of, enamoured with.

Either, but not enamoured by.


encyclopaedia, encyclopedia.

Optional. Encyclopaedia for Burchfield4 and The Times,5 encyclopedia for The Guardian.6


English- and Latin-ending plurals.

In some instances, the endings are indisputably Latin (bacteria, criteria, fungi, phenomena, stimuli). In others, both English and Latin endings are
in use to denote different meanings (antennaeantennas; formulaeformulas; mediamediums). But in most cases, the 
issue is determined by the 
rather subjective criterion of whether the Latin word has been sufficiently absorbed by the language to warrant an English ending. Inconsistency
inevitably arises, but t
he following seem most frequently to be in reputable use 

      •  addendum, addendums (The Guardian)7
      •  addendum, addenda (The Times)8
      •  alumna, alumnae (feminine)
      •  alumnus, alumni (masculine and common gender)
      •  amoeba, amoebas
      •  antenna, antennae (sensory organs of insects)
      •  antenna, antennas (aerials)
      •  aquarium, aquaria (or aquariums)
      •  bacterium, bacteria
      •  candelabrum, candelabra
      •  consortium, consortia
      •  criterion, criteria
      •  curriculum, curricula
datum, data (see also data is, data are)
      •  formula, formulae (chemistry and mathematics)
      •  formula, formulas (all other contexts)
      •  fungus, fungi
      •  gymnasium, gymnasiums
      •  hippopotamus, hippopotamuses
      •  incubus, incubi
insigne, insignia9
      •  larva, larvae
medium, media (television, radio and press)
      •  medium, mediums (spiritualists)
      •  memorandum, memoranda (Burchfield)10
      •  memorandum, memorandums (The Guardian11 and The Times)12
      •  millennium, millennia
octopus, octopuses13
      •  oesophagus, oesophagi
opus, opera (musical compositions other than musical dramas)
      •  opera, operas (musical dramas)
      •  phenomenon, phenomena
      •  referendum, referendums
      •  sanatorium, sanatoriums
      •  spectrum, spectra
stadium, stadia (Greek and Roman games venues)
      •  stadium, stadiums (modern sports grounds)
      •  stimulus, stimuli
      •  stratum, strata
      •  succubus, succubi
      •  syllabus, syllabuses
      •  symposium, symposia
      •  ultimatum, ultimatums


enormity – extreme wickedness: the enormity of the crime.
enormous – very large.


enquire – ask, ask after.
inquire – officially investigate; (US) enquire.

We enquire directions from a stranger, or enquire about someone’s health. In each case, we make an enquiry. We inquire into the cause of an
accident, or help the police with their inquiries. Both The Guardian and The Times, however, disregard the distinction and follow the American
practice of using inquire in all circumstances.


enrol, enrolment – (UK)
enroll, enrollment – (US)

But always enrolled, enrolling.


ensure – make sure, guarantee.
insure – cover against loss.


enthral, enthralment – (UK)
enthrall, enthrallment – (US)

But always enthralled, enthralling. Inthrall is an option in American English.


enthuse – (non-standard)
show enthusiasm – (correct)

Enthusiasm has no legitimate verb.


envelop – (v.) cover, surround.
envelope – (n.) a folder.



Often pretentious (e.g. learning environment for ‘school’ or ‘classroom’).

(See clichés, pleonasms and verbosity.)


Eskimo – (obsolete?)
Inuit – (current)

Inuit ‘people’ (singular Inuk) has largely superseded Eskimo ‘eaters of raw meat’, which came to be seen as a pejorative term. In another sense,
however, the Eskimo comprise the two ethnic groups called the Inuk and the Yupik, so it is by no means clear whether the word still has currency
or, indeed, to whom precisely it refers.


et al. – (et alia) 'and others'. Used in referencing systems.

(See abbreviations.)


et seq. – (et sequentia) 'and the following [pages]'.

(See abbreviations.)



To evacuate means ‘to empty’. Buildings and districts are thus evacuated, not people (unless they have been administered enemas). But the 
misuse of the word is so common now that the damage is probably irreversible.


every day, everyday.

Every day – (adv.) daily: We are recommended to eat five portions of fruit or vegetables every day. Everyday – (adj.) commonplace, ordinary,
familiar: an everyday occurrence.


every one, everyone.

The two-word form is used to indicate all members of a specified group: Every one of the students did well in the examinationThe one-word form
is used to indicate all members of an unspecified group: Everyone was pleasantly surprised at the results.



This must be one of the most overused words in the mannered lexicons of business and education: an exciting developmentan exciting new 
initiative, an exciting opportunity. Option: the Delete key.


executor – (common gender)
executrix – (obsolete)


expatriate, not expatriot.

Expatriate is the noun as well as the verb and adjective.



Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

(See expletive sentences.)


expose – reveal, disclose, make public.
exposé – a revelation of facts, especially discreditable facts.

The acute accent is therefore important.

(See diacritics.)


exposition, narrative.

The two most fundamental styles of English prose.

(See styles of writing.)


extra curricular, extra-curricular, extracurricular.

Extra curricular means additional activities from the curriculum. To indicate activities beyond the curriculum, we need either extra-curricular or


extravert, extrovert.

Extrovert seems to be the principal spelling, but the two words coined by Jung are extravert and introvert.


eyeing – (correct)
eying – (disputed)



Witness is quite sufficient, but the pleonasm is so well entrenched that objections are probably pointless.

(See clichés, pleonasms and verbosity.)



1 The Guardian Style Guide, updated May 2012. Accessed 27.05.12.
The Times Style Guide. No longer available on line. Multiple access, 2002
3 The Guardian Style Guide.
4 R. W. Burchfield (ed.), The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, Third Revised Edition, OUP, Oxford, 1998.
5 The Times Style Guide.
6 The Guardian Style Guide.
7 Ibid.
8 The Times Style Guide
9 Insignia is often used as the singular with the plural the same or insigniasBut while this use is standard in American English, it is non-standard
   in British English (Burchfield, op cit.).
10 Ibid.
11 The Guardian Style Guide.
12 The Times Style Guide.
13 The Latin plural would be octopodes, not octopi (Burchfield, op cit.).






















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