Confused Words Exercise (663)

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.)

  • "The Two Noble Kinsmen" should be considered part of Shakespeare’s ________.

  • Decades of __________ had taken their toll on the ancient temple.

  • She applied copious amounts of _____ to her hair and combed furiously.

  • Her curious behavior was beginning to ______ my interest.

  • He has become one of the most talented ________ actors of our time.

Answers and Explanations

1. "The Two Noble Kinsmen" should be considered part of Shakespeare’s canon.

canon: all works by an artist, an accepted body of work, a principle or group of principles, a church decree or provision, or a church officer. "Two of her novels are now part of the Western literary canon."
cannon: a piece of artillery. "They heard the thundering boom of cannon firing in the distance."

2. Decades of depredation had taken their toll on the ancient temple.

depredation: an act of plundering or ravaging. "The outlaws committed much depredation as they rode through the territory."
deprivation: the state of not having what is needed. "I’ve been suffering from sleep deprivation."

3. She applied copious amounts of gel to her hair and combed furiously.

gel (n., v.): a jelly-like substance; to become clear or definite, change into a jelly-like substance, or style hair with gel.
jell (v.): become clear or definite, or change into a jelly-like substance

4. Her curious behavior was beginning to pique my interest.

peak: reach a maximum. "Sales tend to peak just before the holidays."
pique: cause anger or curiosity. "Any new handheld electronic device is sure to pique the interest of consumers."

5. He has become one of the most talented comic actors of our time.

comic: pertaining to comedy, or causing amusement. "Young children are exposed to a great deal of comic violence on many of the television programs they see."
comical: causing amusement. "There was something in his distracted air that gave him a rather comical expression."

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