Everyone knows the problem with spell-check: your word might be spelled right, but it may be the wrong word. English is full of confusing words that sound alike but are spelled differently. It’s also full of words that share similar (but not identical) meanings that are easy to misuse. Below are some of the most commonly confused and misused words in English.
Advice/AdviseAdvice is a noun: Chester gave Posey good advice. Advise is a verb: Chester advised Posey to avoid the questionable chicken salad.
Affect/EffectAffect is usually a verb: Chester’s humming affected Posey’s ability to concentrate. Effect is usually a noun: Chester was sorry for the effect his humming had. If you find yourself stumped about which one to use in a sentence, try substituting the word “alter” or “result.” If “alter” fits (Chester’s humming altered Posey’s ability to concentrate), use affect. If “result” fits (Chester was sorry for the result his humming had), use effect.
Among/AmongstAmong is the preferred and most common variant of this word in American English. Amongst is more common in British English. Neither version is wrong, but amongst may seem fussy to American readers.
Among/BetweenAmong expresses a collective or loose relationship of several items: Chester found a letter hidden among the papers on the desk. Between expresses the relationship of one thing to another thing or to many other things: Posey spent all day carrying messages between Chester and the other students. The idea that between can be used only when talking about two things is a myth—it’s perfectly correct to use between if you are talking about multiple binary relationships.
Assure/Ensure/InsureAssure means to tell someone that something will definitely happen or is definitely true: Posey assured Chester that no one would cheat at Bingo. Ensure means to guarantee or make sure of something: Posey took steps to ensure that no one cheated at Bingo. Insure means to take out an insurance policy: Posey was glad the Bingo hall was insured against damage caused by rowdy Bingo players.
Breath/BreatheBreath is a noun; it’s the air that goes in and out of your lungs: Chester held his breath while Posey skateboarded down the stairs. Breathe is a verb; it means to exhale or inhale: After Posey’s spectacular landing, Chester had to remind himself to breathe again.
Capital/CapitolCapital has several meanings. It can refer to an uppercase letter, money, or a city where a seat of government is located: Chester visited Brasίlia, the capital of Brazil. Capitol means the building where a legislature meets: Posey visited the cafe in the basement of the capitol after watching a bill become a law.
Complement/Compliment A complement is something that completes something else. It’s often used to describe things that go well together: Chester’s lime green boots were a perfect complement to his jacket. A compliment is a nice thing to say: Posey received many compliments on her purple fedora.
Disinterested/UninterestedDisinterested means impartial: A panel of disinterested judges who had never met the contestants before judged the singing contest. Uninterested means bored or not wanting to be involved with something: Posey was uninterested in attending Chester’s singing class.
Defence/DefenseDefense is standard in American English. Defence is found mainly in British English.
Emigrate/ImmigrateEmigrate means to move away from a city or country to live somewhere else: Chester’s grandfather emigrated from Canada sixty years ago. Immigrate means to move into a country from somewhere else: Posey’s sister immigrated to Ireland in 2004.
E.g./I.e. These two Latin abbreviations are often mixed up, but e.g. means “for example,” while i.e. means “that is.”
Empathy/SympathyEmpathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective or feelings. Sympathy is a feeling of sorrow for someone else’s suffering. A sympathizer is someone who agrees with a particular ideal or cause.
Farther/FurtherFarther refers to physical distance: Posey can run farther than Chester. Further refers to metaphorical distance: Chester is further away from finishing his project than Posey is.
Flaunt/FloutFlaunt means to show off: Chester flaunted his stylish new outfit. Flout means to defy, especially in a way that shows scorn: Posey flouted the business-casual dress code by wearing a tiara and flip-flops.
Gaff/Gaffe A gaff is a type of spear or hook with a long handle: Chester completed his sailor costume with a gaff borrowed from his uncle’s fishing boat. A gaffe is a faux pas or social misstep: Posey made a gaffe when she accidentally called Chester by the wrong name.
Gray/GreyGray is the standard American English spelling. Grey is the standard British English spelling.
Historic/HistoricalHistoric means famous, important, and influential: Chester visited the beach in Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers made their historic first airplane flight. Historical means related to history: Posey donned a historical bonnet for the renaissance fair.
Imply/InferImply means to hint at something without saying it directly: Chester implied that Posey was in trouble, but he wouldn’t tell her why. Infer means to deduce something that hasn’t been stated directly: Posey inferred that Chester was nervous about something from the way he kept looking over his shoulder.
It’s/ItsIt’s is a contraction of “it is”: Posey needs to pack for her trip because it’s only two days away. Its is a possessive pronoun that means “belonging to it”: Chester is obsessed with both the book and its author.
Lay/LieTo lay means to put or to place. One way to remember this is that there is an a in both to lay and to place: Posey will lay out her outfit before she goes to bed. To lie means to recline. One way to remember this is that there is an e in both to lie and to recline: Chester will lie down for a nap. Be careful, though. The past tense of to lay is laid: Posey laid out her outfit. The past tense of to lie is lay: Chester lay down for a nap over an hour ago.
Lead/LedLead, when it rhymes with “bed,” refers to a type of metal: Posey wore a lead apron while the dentist X-rayed her teeth. Led is the past tense of the verb to lead, which means to guide or to be first: Chester led the way.
Learned/LearntLearned is standard in American English. Learnt is standard in British English.
Loose/LoseLoose is usually an adjective: Posey discovered that the cows were loose. Lose is always a verb. It means to misplace something or to be unvictorious in a game or contest: Chester was careful not to lose his ticket.
Principal/PrinciplePrincipal can be a noun or adjective. As a noun, it refers to the person in charge of a school or organization: Posey was called into the principal’s office. As an adjective, it means most important: The principal reason for this meeting is to brainstorm ideas for the theme of Chester’s birthday party. A principle (always a noun) is a firmly held belief or ideal: Posey doesn’t like surprise parties as a matter of principle.
Inquiry/EnquiryInquiry and enquiry both mean “a request for information.” Inquiry is the standard American English spelling. Enquiry is the British spelling.
Stationary/StationeryStationary means unmoving: The revolving door remained stationary because Posey was pushing on it the wrong way. Stationery refers to letter writing materials and especially to high quality paper: Chester printed his résumé on his best stationery.
Than/ThenThan is used for comparisons: Posey runs faster than Chester. Then is used to indicate time or sequence: Posey took off running, and then Chester came along and finished her breakfast.
Their/There/They’reTheir is the possessive form of “they”: Chester and Posey took their time. There indicates a place: It took them an hour to get there. They’re is a contraction of “they are”: Are Chester and Posey coming? They’re almost here.
To/TooTo is a preposition that can indicate direction: Posey walked to school. She said hello to Chester when she saw him. To is also used in the infinitive form of verbs: Chester waited until the last minute to do his homework. Too is used as an intensifier, and also means “also”: Posey waited too long to do her homework, too.
Toward/TowardsToward is standard in American English. Towards is standard in British English.
Who’s/WhoseWho’s is a contraction of “who is”: Who’s calling Chester at this hour? Whose is a possessive pronoun that means “belonging to [someone]”: Chester, whose phone hadn’t stopped ringing all morning, barely ate anything for breakfast.
In our last blog we provided an overview of the Theoretical/Knowledge Value. A recap for this value is that people with higher scores are driven by opportunities to learn, acquire knowledge and discovery of truth.
Let’s learn about the second value/motivation.
Do you have people on your team who can’t seem to get along? And do some struggle to communicate with others, seeming to “live in parallel universes”?
If so, identifying their personality types and acknowledging the differences between one-another may help your team members work together more harmoniously.
Ahh, October. The time of the year when the air gets crisp, the leaves begin to change and Cyber Security Awareness begins! We may be biased, but we think October is the best month of the year.
We live in a world that is continuously more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost every aspect of one’s daily life, whether realized or not. Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) is designed to engage and educate the public and private sector through online events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.
The Government of Canada has already provided some great tools to help jump start your online security. We specifically like this infographic on 5 ways to run a #CyberSafeBusiness.
VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – In the midst of a pandemic, only one national, impartial and independent service offers Canadians across the country free help with life and health insurance complaints. The OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) is here to help.
Reports from across the insurance industry indicate there has been an increased demand for life insurance since the pandemic hit. With the near decimation of the travel industry, OLHI has seen double the typical number of travel insurance complaints across Canada. Disability claims remain consistently high at OLHI as the pressures of modern life can lead to disability claims due to mental health issues.
Glenn O’Farrell, former President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and former Senior Vice President of CanWest Global, will provide an overview of the vital public service OLHI provides to Canadians. O’Farrell will share case studies from consumers across Canada that will demonstrate how OLHI’s relationship with member insurance companies leads to the fair, equitable resolution of insurance complaints for Canadians.
Our unique role helps build confidence in the life and health insurance sector for Canadian consumers.
O’Farrell is scheduling phone interviews with talk radio stations across Canada in October and November.
OLHI is Canada’s insurance complaint resolution service. The OLHI complaint resolution process provides an impartial review of your dispute, determines the merit of your complaint, and works with your insurance company to reach a fair and equitable resolution.
SOURCE OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance
For further information: For more information or the schedule an interview with Glenn O’Farrell, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-295-8112 x2251
As BC begins Phase 2 of its Restart Plan, the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC (“WSBC”) have published the following orders, guidance and resources relevant to employers.
Orders by the Provincial Health Officer
On May 14, 2020, Dr. Henry issued an order cancelling her earlier April 16, 2020 order that operators close all personal service establishments and stop providing personal services in any location. Personal service establishments may open effective May 19, 2020.
On May 14, 2020, Dr. Henry enacted an order regarding workplace safety plans (the “COVID-19 Safety Plans“). Under the order, an employer must post a copy of its COVID-19 Safety Plan on its website, if it has one, and at all of its workplaces so that it may be reviewed by workers, individuals who attend the workplace and members of the public. On request, an employer must also provide a copy of its COVID-19 Safety Plan to a health officer or a WSBC officer.
On May 15, 2020, Dr. Henry issued an order allowing restaurants and bars to open subject to conditions, including implementing physical distancing measures. Patrons must be able to maintain a distance of two metres from staff as well as one another, unless they are in the same party. Further, establishments cannot exceed 50 percent of their usual capacity of patrons present at one time, and they cannot hold events that include more than 50 people. If practicable, establishments must retain contact information for one member of every party of patrons for thirty days in the event that the medical health officer needs it for contact tracing. Finally, nightclubs must remain closed. The order came into effect on May 19, 2020.
The Provincial Health Officer may take enforcement action against any party that violates these orders under Part 4, Division 6 of the Public Health Act.
The BC Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control recently published guidance for employers and workers in various sectors, including natural resources, farming and hotels.
The guidance for natural resource sector work camps includes conducting a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment for field operations, worker education, increased hygiene and cleaning practices, physical distancing, transportation for workers, guidance for workers while working, guidance for workers during breaks or while in communal spaces, guidance for situations where maintaining physical distance of two metres is difficult, guidance on handling tools and equipment, guidance on COVID-19 and worker accommodation, information regarding First Nations and First Nations Health Centres, physical distancing and local communities, information about face masks, and what employers must do to monitor worker health.
The guidance for farms and farm workers includes conducting a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment for the farm operation, worker education, guidance for training workers and employers on hygiene, guidance for increased hygiene, guidance for increased cleaning, physical distancing, transportation for workers, guidance for workers while working, guidance for workers during breaks or while in communal spaces, guidance for situations where maintaining physical distance of two metres is difficult, guidance on handling tools and equipment, guidance on COVID-19 hygiene and worker accommodation, information regarding First Nations and First Nations Health Centres, physical distancing and local communities, information about face masks, and what employers must do to monitor worker health. The guidance acknowledges that physical distancing between farm workers may be difficult in certain situations. Where workers are required to work together in close proximity to complete tasks, employers should form work pods (of six or fewer workers, if possible) to limit close contact within a small group. Similarly, where workers are required to travel together in vehicles to the work site, workers must travel in designated vehicles with their work pod and frequently clean and disinfect vehicles.
Guidance for the hotel sector covers general cleaning, housekeeping and laundry, waste management, food and beverage services, spas and salons, pools, fitness centres and playgrounds, staff health, and communication, signage and posters.
Employers must involve frontline workers, joint health and safety committees and supervisors when creating protocols for their workplace. WSBC has published a six-step process to help employers create their COVID-19 Safety Plan. The WSBC template is a fillable PDF that employers can use to develop their policies, guidelines and procedures. Employers are not required to have a formal plan in place prior to beginning operations, but are expected to develop their COVID-19 Safety Plan while taking steps to protect their workers’ safety. WSBC will consider enforcement measures if employers fail to take measures to protect workers from COVID-19.
Employers should develop policies on who can be at the workplace, including policies on sick workers and recent travel. Employers do not have to implement health monitoring, such as temperatures checks or medical questionnaires, and should be aware of privacy issues if they choose to collect potentially sensitive medical information. WSBC notes that wearing masks is not mandatory for workers outside healthcare workplaces, and that masks and other personal protective equipment (“PPE”) should not be used as the only control measure. Instead, employers should offer the following types of protection, listed in order of greatest efficacy: i) eliminate risks (i.e. by limiting the number of workers at any one time, and enforce physical distancing), ii) implement engineering controls (i.e. installing barriers such as Plexiglas to separate people), iii) establish administrative controls (i.e. cleaning protocols) and iv) supply PPE such as non-medical masks.
Communication and Training
Employers should provide information to workers describing how they are managing COVID-19, including COVID-19 symptoms and a reminder not to go to work if workers have them, occupancy limits in common areas and other physical distancing measures, how specific tasks have been changed to prevent the potential spread of the virus, and instructions about hygiene. Employers are also responsible for training workers in tasks that they have changed as part of their COVID-19 Safety Plan, such as limits on the number of people in certain areas of the workplace and cleaning expectations for common areas and equipment. Where workplaces interface with customers, employers should consider adding signage, floor markings and other directions to ensure customers are maintaining physical distance from workers.
Use your own body language and gestures to show that you are engaged.
Smile and use other facial expressions.
Make sure that your posture is open and interested.
Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and “uh huh.”
3. Provide Feedback
Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect on what is being said and to ask questions.
Reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is… ,” and “Sounds like you are saying… ,” are great ways to reflect back.
Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say… .” “Is this what you mean?”
Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically.
If you find yourself responding emotionally to what someone said, say so. And ask for more information: “I may not be understanding you correctly, and I find myself taking what you said personally. What I thought you just said is XXX. Is that what you meant?”
4. Defer Judgment
Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.
Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
Don’t interrupt with counter arguments.
5. Respond Appropriately
Active listening is designed to encourage respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. You add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise putting her down.
Be candid, open and honest in your response.
Assert your opinions respectfully.
Treat the other person in a way that you think she would want to be treated.