Infographic: The 12 most misunderstood English words

Even if you’re precocious, systematically check this list to make sure you’re using these words correctly. We would hate to proscribe you for misusing them.

Not too long ago, we brought you a list of the 10 most commonly misused words in English, courtesy of

Get ready for round two, because the same folks created a second infographic with even more misunderstood words. The list features words that many people think mean one thing, but actually mean something different.

Here are a few misunderstood words from this edition, along with the correct definitions:

1. Continual: duration over a long period of time, not necessarily without interruption

2. Moot: open for debate, an assembly of authoritative persons, or an argument or discussion

3. Less: a smaller amount of uncountable nouns

4. Nauseous: to induce nausea

5. Proscribe: to denounce, banish, outlaw or exile

Study up on these words, communicators. I think most of us would be embarrassed to see a “misused words, part three” infographic.

This post first appeared on in September 2011.

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