Confused Words Exercise (617)
In each sentence, choose the correct word from the pair of similar terms. (If both words possibly can be correct, choose the more plausible one.)
Answers and Explanations
1. The spectators rose to hail the victor as he rode into the stadium at the head of the parade.
hail: greet or signal with a wave. "I’ll hail a taxi for us."
hale: healthy and strong. "The young man was sturdy and hale, with bulging muscles and broad shoulders."
2. Don’t pander to the crowd; do what you think is right.
pamper: coddle, spoil. "I’ve never been one to pamper children, and I won’t start now."
pander: provide what is wanted when what is wanted is not the best choice. "As usual, the candidates will pander to short-term interests instead of carrying out a vision for the future."
3. If you doubt my veracity, why don’t you ask her to confirm or deny what I’ve said?
veracity: honesty. "Based on what I had found out since then, I began to question her veracity."
voracity: extreme appetite or hunger. "His voracity for attention is annoying."
4. I noticed a discrepancy in the account the two boys gave about the incident.
discrepancy: a difference between things one expects to be the same. "There was a discrepancy between the number on the inventory and the number of boxes on the shelf."
disparity: the quality of being different. "Income disparity has become only more dramatic."
5. I tried to attenuate the severity of the punishment, but I was overruled.
attenuate: reduce or taper. "Noise-canceling headphones will attenuate distracting sounds."
extenuate: lessen the strength or seriousness of something. "She annoyed me by trying to extenuate her role in the incident."