Commonly Misused Words in Content Writing

lessons from our LAB

July 8, 2015

Commonly Misused Words in Content Writing

Katie is our content expert with a strong passion for writing and social media.

In the world of content writing, what could possibly be worse than a spelling error, grammar mistake, or a false fact? There is only one thing: improper word choice.

When you're trying to get a certain point across, it's essential to choose the right words. But when many words mean the same thing or sound similar to other words, choosing the wrong word is easy. Here are some of the most common confusing and misused words in content marketing:

Accept vs. Except

Accept: to take willingly or receive favorably; to submit to

Except: to exclude or omit; to leave out

When a company doesn't understand how to use social media, it accepts guidance from digital marketers.

Most entrepreneurs can be successful, except the ones that doubt themselves.


Affect vs. Effect

Affect: to act on; produce an effect or change in; always a verb

Effect: a result or consequence; usually a noun, but used as a verb when saying that an object produces an effect or change

Content marketing affects a company's reputation as a thought leader.

One effect of content marketing is brand awareness.

The company's new website effected its Google ranking.


Good vs. Well

Good: an adjective that modifies nouns

Well: an adverb that modifies verbs and adjectives

If an employee feels good, it means they are in good health.

If an employee feels well, it means they have an excellent sense of touch.


Convince vs. Persuade

Convince: to cause someone to believe something

Persuade: to prevail on someone to do something

You convince someone that your product or service is worth buying.

You persuade someone to purchase your product or service.


Farther vs. Further

Farther: refers to physical distance

Further: refers to an abstract measurement

The business moved to a location that is farther away from me.

To learn further about a business, you should visit its website.


Who vs. Whom

Who: the nominative form; use when the subject is carrying out the action taking place

Whom: the objective form; use when the subject is the receiver of the action taking place

People who use social media often usually have a Twitter and Facebook profile.

Social media users usually connect with others whom they know and like.


Ladder vs. Latter

Ladder: noun; a structure with rungs and parallel supports used for climbing

Latter: adjective; the comparison form of later; opposite of first or former

Hard work and commitment will lead an entrepreneur up the ladder of success.

The business meeting will take place in the latter part March.


Imply vs. Infer

Imply: to indicate indirectly or by allusion; to make an implication

Infer: to draw a conclusion of an inference

Customers infer from a business' website whether or not the company is legitimate.

When a company stops posting on social media websites, it is implying that the business has shut down.


Knowing the meaning of these commonly confusing words can prevent you from using the wrong words in your online content. As a result, your company's blogs, articles, and website content will sound much more professional and polished! When visitors read this impressive and grammatically sound content, they will be more likely to respect your business and engage with you.

What are other confusing words you get mixed up? Comment below!


Image by talimelekalikimaka via Flickr CC

Download our eBook!

Don't Let Your Business Suffer In Local Search eBook