Helpful Hints from Dempsey & Carroll: Commonly Confused Words

We find ourselves unsure of how to properly spell confusing words all of the time!  Here are a few tips we’ve come up with to make sure we haven’t used the wrong word…

PRINCIPAL vs. PRINCIPLE

One of the oldest tricks in the book…Use the word PRINCIPAL when mentioning a school administrator because your school PRINCIPAL is your PAL.  Use the other, PRINCIPLE, when mentioning a fundamental belief…

GREY vs. GRAY

This is a tricky one!  We see both spellings of this color used, and that’s really just because they’re both right – just depends on where you live!  Technically in the US you should be using the grAy spelling, while the Brits should use the grEy spelling…A great way to remember this is: The USA is grAy and England is grEy.

STATIONERY vs. STATIONARY

This one comes up often…to spell stationery, as in writing paper (and what Dempsey & Carroll makes!) use “E” as in “letter,” not “A” like in “anchored.”  

COMPLIMENT vs. COMPLEMENT

The easiest way to remember the difference between these two is to think to yourself “I love getting compliments!”  The “I” should be used when admiring someone, while the “E” should be used when something completes another thing

ACCEPT vs. EXCEPT

We remember the difference between these two words by reminding ourselves that “exclude” is similar to “except,” so when deciding which word to write just keep this in mind!  It will never fail you!  

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