by Tyler Vendetti ~ There are so many words in the English language that it’s not surprising the definitions have gotten mixed up over the years. How long have you been using that word incorrectly, you wonder? Here's a list of tricky words to read so you never have to suffer from embarrassment ever again. Full story here:
  1. 1) Travesty
    What you may think it means: a tragedy, an unfortunate event. What it actually means: a mockery; a parody. This one, I’ll admit, is my own personal error. For the longest time, I equated travesty with tragedy, mostly because in passing, they sound like the same word. It’s stupid, I know, but if you knew how many times I confused fetal position with beetle position, you wouldn’t be laughing. It’s a serious problem.
  2. 2) Ironic
    What you may think it means: a funny coincidence. What it actually means: contrary to what you might expect. It’s not ironic that you bumped into a talking turtle in a sweater vest right after you told your friend how cool it would be to bump into a talking turtle in a sweater vest. It’s a coincidence, and believe it or not, those two words are not related. Also, you should probably lay off the drugs because I’m pretty sure animals shouldn’t be talking.
  3. 3) Peruse
    What you may think it means: to skim or glance over something. What it actually means: to review something carefully/in-depth. How this definition got completely turned on its head, I’ll never know, but I’ll be sure never to say “I’m going to go peruse my math textbook” ever again, just in case someone overhears and tries to hold me to it under the real meaning.
  4. 4) Bemused
    What you may think it means: amused. What it actually means: confused. Again, with the whole “words sounding alike” issue. I’m starting to think I just need hearing aids. This is getting out of hand.
  5. 5) Compelled
    What you may think it means: to willingly do something, to feel like you need to do something. What it actually means: to be forced to do something (willingly or unwillingly). The word you’re looking for is “impelled.” I agree, it doesn’t get enough attention.
  6. 6) Nauseous
    What you may think it means: to feel sick. What it actually means: to cause nausea. When you eat too much ice cream and declare to your mom or the nearest adult, “I feel nauseous,” what you’re actually saying is that you are causing people around you to feel sick. Thanks, jerk. (For the record, “I’m nauseated” is the way to go.)
  7. 7) Conversate
    What you may think it means: to hold a conversation. What it actually means: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. This word is a mix of conversation and converse, and doesn’t actually exist, like unicorns or YOUR DREAMS. (I’m kidding. Unicorns are totally real.)
  8. 8) Redundant
    What you may think it means: repetitive. What it actually means: superfluous, able to be cut out. “Including this sentence is redundant because you already mentioned your love of Santa Claus in the previous paragraph.” This has always been my exposure to the word redundant, so it only makes sense that I would think repetitive was correct. I can’t be the only one? Right? RIGHT?
  9. 9) Enormity
    What you may think it means: enormousness. What it actually means: extreme evil. I don’t know where the “extreme evil” thing came from (probably the Devil) but enormity makes more sense as enormousness in my mind.
  10. 10) Terrific
    What you may think it means: awesome, fantastic. What it actually means: causing terror. Okay, so “causing terror” is more of an outdated definition but I still thought it was interesting. Maybe keep this fun fact in the back of your mind the next time you call your favorite camper, “Terrific Tommy,” because technically, a few decades ago, that might have been an insult. Unless instead of a camper, he’s a serial killer. In that case, go for it.