The response to this post was phenomenal—more than 450 comments were posted. PR Daily readers shared other examples of words that are commonly misused. Others discussed how language evolves, insisting that the meanings of words change because “majority rules.” Apparently, the word “literally” means the same thing as “figuratively” because everyone uses it that way.
In English, there are an estimated 250,000 distinct words. There are also countless nuances to their definitions. We have jobs in PR or corporate communications because we understand these shades of meaning and can use these 250,000 words to create clear and concise messages.
Yes, words do change over time and language does evolve, but so do nuances. So, in the spirit of our ever-evolving, often-confusing, never-boring lexicon, here are more words that may not mean what you think they mean, courtesy of PR Daily readers.
Averse means opposed or having a strong disliking to something. For example: He was averse to the idea of using a new style guide.