5 Words You’ve Been Using Incorrectly This Whole Time

It's literally ironic when you use "literally" to mean "figuratively."

Adapted from grammar.net by Brandon Specktor

1. Unique

Unique defintion common words used incorrectly
2. Ironic

Ironic defintion common words used incorrectly
3. Enormity

Enormity defintion common words used incorrectly
4. Plethora

Plethora defintion common words used incorrectly
5. Literally

Literally defintion common words used incorrectly


Which misused words do you correct most often?

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  • Your Comments

    • Popcorn

      In the Philippines, the word “traffic” is synonymous to mean heavy traffic or unmoving traffic, when it actually means the opposite – which is movement.

    • losing it

      Tell me why it’s become so “o.k.” to mix plural subjects with singular predicates….

    • Joseph_G

      The title of this article is literally incorrect. *I* don’t misuse any of these words.

    • Gina

      Exotic and erotic, not the same thing!

    • TheMom

      My pet peeve is “anyways”…“anyway” is an adverb, and adverbs can’t be plural.

    • Danny Meeker

      The one that cracks me up is “intensive purposes”…. saw this on a SGM brief once, and lol’d. INTENTS AND PURPOSES.

      • Ronaldo Geracin

        One reason for the ‘fumble’ is because some people don’t enunciate — they have a preponderance toward using a ‘lazy tongue’. Seems easier for some to slur rather than to speak clearly and with conviction.

    • Mir Quasem


    • Smooth Groove

      By far, the most misused word in the English language today is – only.

      • Jeff Tock

        I think the most misused work is “actually”…or, “honestly”. Honestly, I actually believe that!!

        • Paulette

          way too many ‘ awesomes ‘

      • Meghan Courtright


    • BarbJC71084

      I wince when I read a misused “myriad,” usually preceded by “a” and followed by “of.” It SHOULD stand alone, as in “myriad misuses of the word,” NOT “a myriad of misuses” (I even wince when I write it). The literal translation (from Greek) is “10,000.” I think if you can’t use “10,000″ instead, then you’re using it wrong.

    • http://twitter.com/authorRWolf R. Wolf Baldassarro

      What about penultimate? People most often think that it means “most ultimate” (which itself is redundant) when it actually means “next to last.”