WordPlay

What Diffenence Do It Make?

TROUBLING or TROUBLESOME
Though quite similar, these two words are not synonyms.  Note their differences in the following examples:
The boy’s troublesome conduct in the classroom quickly got him expelled.
Indeed, even as a baby his behavior had been troubling to the whole family.

DEMOCRAT or DEMOCRATIC
These two words, often used interchangeably, are really quite different.  “Democrat” is a noun. “Democratic” is an adjective.
When capitalized, a “Democrat” is a supporter of America’s Democrat Party.
[Note that it is NOT correctly called America’s “Democratic Party.”]
What about America’s Republican Party?   This party’s official name is “Republican,” so  is clearly entitled to be described by the adjective ‘Republican.”

TAKEN ABACK or TAKEN BACK
“Taken aback” is a rather old-fashioned expression, sometimes misunderstood and misused by twenty-first century writers and speakers.
Example: “Even veteran police officers were taken aback by the victim’s appearance.”
This sentence means the police officers were momentarily shocked or surprised by what they saw. The expression is NOT “taken back,” which in this context would make no sense.

TIRING or TIRESOME
The adjective “tiring” means “debilitating,” either physically or mentally.
“Tiresome”  means  merely “boring” or “annoying,” not physically or mentally tiring.
Examples: “My sermons are quite tiring,” said the bishop with a yawn.  “And quite
tiresome,” thought the parson to himself.

PURPOSELY or PURPOSEFULLY
‘”Purposely” means simply “on purpose.”
Example:  “The defendant purposely misled the jury.”
“Purposefully” suggests a demeanor  of self-confidence [perhaps feined self-confidence].
Example:  “The defendant, about to purjure himself, strode purposefully to the witness stand.”

-E.S.

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