Answers to More Questions About Usage
Confusion about words or phrases with similar connotations or constructions is common; here are several questions from DailyWritingTips.com readers about usage, and my responses.
1. What is the difference between remuneration and emolument?
The words have essentially the same meaning – “compensation or payment” — though remuneration also pertains to payment by a customer or client, and emolument also refers to perquisites, or perks (privileges or offers for employees such as one’s own parking space or free use of a fitness center.)
2. I wish to know when and where to use toward or towards, and what is the difference?
The words are variations with identical meanings. Towards is British English, though many Americans use it, especially in conversation. Toward is preferable in formal US English.
3. In my country, bottled, aerated drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are called “cold drinks” universally. But a sizable community calls them “cool drinks.” How do I convince and let them know the difference between cool and cold? Also, many people use the term action in place of acting when it comes to describing someone’s performance in a film or a play.
“Cold drink” (and “cool drink”) may be universal in your country, but there are many terms for carbonated beverages, so I think any effort to try to control usage in this case is futile. As for action used as you describe, English usage evolves, and what may seem like an aberration now will often become standard vocabulary in the future. Even if action never becomes formally acceptable as a synonym for acting, its persistence as a variant is probably inevitable.
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