Words, language, dictionary

English Words We’re Not Always Using Correctly

Let’s be honest here. English is a very confusing and complicated language. There are different rules for all kinds of words and phrases, and even people who are born and raised in England can find grasping the language to be difficult. eSense Translations takes a look at some of the words that people commonly use, which are more often than not used in the wrong context entirely.

Appraise and apprise

Kicking off our list are these two words. While it is very true that the two words sound very similar; their meanings are quite different and sometimes the two are used incorrectly. Appraising something is to ascertain its value, and not to inform anyone of something. If you are informing someone of an event that has transpired, you are in fact apprising them of the situation.


Whether you’ve read the phrase in a book or heard it said, a lot of people aren’t aware of what the word actually means. It is usually confused with being bored or unimpressed with what you are seeing or hearing, and that sadly is not true. It means that an event has left you stunned and bewildered, and not unimpressed, as many initially thought.

Politically correct

If you’ve ever heard people say that something isn’t politically correct, then they may well have been using it in the wrong context altogether. The term ‘politically correct’ actually means something which is left wing and liberal, and has a very dogmatic view of things, which means they won’t see any other way of thinking. It doesn’t mean fashionable or trendy, as some people may believe.

New Age

In a world of rapidly developing technology and futuristic devices, we all hear the words ‘new age’ a little more than normal. However, if you hear it used in regards to modern technology and the advancements that have been made, then it is, in fact, being misused. It’s a term given to spiritualism and holistic practices, and not to describe the technological world we live in.


Honing in on something is not the correct term. The word ‘hone’ means to sharpen your skills, and to become more proficient at something, and is not used for zeroing in on people. If you’re doing that, then you’re homing in on a particular place or person, and not honing. That’s for when you are playing tennis or fencing and improving your skills.

These are just a few of the words that people use in the wrong place on a daily basis. eSense Translations appreciates that the English language can be confusing, and there is no doubt about that, but there are some mistakes that are easily fixed with a little additional knowledge. If you’re trying to translate or interpret for someone, those ‘little’ mistakes could alter the entire dynamic or topic of the discussion, so be careful. eSense Translations recommends that if that is your role, reading up on these kinds of words, and having the best possible command of the English language to help you to avoid these kinds of errors will help you make sure that you say the right thing every time.


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