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Misused Words and Phrases: Advent vs. In The Event; Uppermost vs. Uttermost

Should I use “advent” or “in the event”? “Uppermost” or “uttermost”? What’s the difference between them? A recurring mistake with many writers is the improper use of seemingly interchangeable words or phrases. Be careful that you’re describing exactly what you mean to say to your readers.

Advent vs. In The Event

Advent: coming into being or use, as in “the advent of winter” or “the advent of electricity”

In the event: if, as in “In the event that Grandma shows up, we should have some coffee available.”

Uppermost vs. Uttermost

Uppermost: adverb or adjective meaning in or into the highest or most prominent position, as in “the uppermost layer” or “her illness was uppermost in their minds”

Uttermost (or Utmost): adjective meaning situated at the farthest or most distant point, as in “the utmost peak of the mountain” or of the highest degree, quantity, number, or amount, as in “a matter of utmost concern.”

Still mixing up “advent” and “in the event”? “Uppermost” or “uttermost”? Writer’s Relief proofreaders can help.

3 Responses to Misused Words and Phrases: Advent vs. In The Event; Uppermost vs. Uttermost

  1. The misuse of assume and presume may be frequent, however it is forgivable since both interchange for ‘suppose’. Likewise may and might to express ‘possibility’. Reticent in place of reluctant seems to be the misused word of the last decade in my quarter – laypeople and journalists alike. You are quite likely reluctant if you are reticent, but by no means reticent if you are reluctant. Unless of course your reticence is an act of recalcitrance. I presume I might be right. You may presume I might not.

  2. I believe the most commonly misused word in the English language is the almost universal substitution of ‘may’ for ‘might’ Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

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