List C

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-cal/-cleAdjectives end in -cal.
Nouns end in -cle.
e.g. critical article
logical bicycle
magical circle
musical cubicle
nautical cuticle
physical miracle
practical particle
theatrical spectacle
tropical uncle
whimsical vehicle
callous or callus?CALLOUS means cruel, insensitive, not
caring about how others feel.
CALLUS means a hard patch of skin or
tissue.
Interestingly, skin may be CALLOUSED
(made hard) or CALLUSED (having
calluses).
can or may?Strictly speaking, CAN means ‘being able’
and MAY means ‘having permission’. It is
best to preserve this distinction in formal
contexts. However, informally, CAN is
used to cover both meanings:
You CAN go now (= are permitted).
caning or canning?cane+ing=caning
CANING is now banned in all schools.
Can + ing = canning
The CANNING factory is closing down.
capital punishment or
corporal punishment?
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT =death
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT = beating
cast or caste?Use CAST for a group of actors in a play
and for a plaster CAST and a CAST in an
eye.
Use CASTE when referring to a social
group in Hindu society.
caster or castor?Both caster sugar and castor sugar are
correct.
Both sugar caster and sugar castor are
correct.
Both casters and castors can be used when
referring to the little wheels fixed to the
legs of furniture.
But castor oil, not caster oil.
censer, censor
or censure?
A CENSER is a container in which incense
is burnt during a religious ceremony.
A CENSOR is a person who examines
plays, books, films, etc. before deciding if
they are suitable for public performance
or publication.
To CENSOR is to do the work of a
CENSOR.
CENSURE is official and formal
disapproval or condemnation of an action.
To CENSURE is to express this
condemnation in a formal written or
spoken statement.
centenarian
or centurion?
A CENTENARIAN is someone who is at
least 100 years old.
A CENTURION is the commander of a
company of 100 men in the ancient
Roman army.
certain or curtainCERTAIN means sure.
Are you CERTAIN that he apologised?
CURTAINS are window drapes.
Do draw the CURTAINS.
Note that the c sounds like s in certain
and like k in curtain.
check or cheque?Use these exemplar sentences as a guide:
Always CHECK your work.
May I pay by CHEQUE?(not ‘check’ as in
the United States)
clothes or cloths?CLOTHES are garments.
CLOTHS are dusters or scraps of material.
compare to/
compare with
Both constructions are acceptable but
many people still prefer to use ‘compare
with’.
complement or
compliment?
COMPLEMENT = that which completes
Half the ship’s COMPLEMENT were
recruited in Norway.
To COMPLEMENT =togowellwith
something
Her outfit was COMPLEMENTED by well-
chosen accessories.
COMPLIMENT = praise, flattering
remarks
To COMPLIMENT =topraise.
complementary or
complimentary?
Use COMPLEMENTARY in the sense of
completing a whole:
COMPLEMENTARY medicine
COMPLEMENTARY jobs
Use COMPLIMENTARY in two senses:
(a) flattering
(b) free of charge
COMPLIMENTARY remarks
COMPLIMENTARY tickets
compose/compriseThe report IS COMPOSED OF ten
sections. (= is made up of)
The report COMPRISES ten sections. (=
contains)
Never use the construction ‘is comprised
of’. It is always incorrect grammatically.
connection or
connexion?
Both spellings are correct, but the first
one is more commonly used.
contagious or
infectious?
Both refer to diseases passed to others.
Strictly speaking, CONTAGIOUS means
passed by bodily contact, and
INFECTIOUS means passed by means of
air or water.
Used figuratively, the terms are
interchangeable:
INFECTIOUS laughter, CONTAGIOUS
enthusiasm.
contemptible or
contemptuous
A person or an action worthy of contempt
is CONTEMPTIBLE.
A person who shows contempt is
CONTEMPTUOUS.
continual or
continuous?
CONTINUAL means frequently repeated,
occurring with short breaks only.
CONTINUOUS means uninterrupted.
correspondent or
co-respondent?
A CORRESPONDENT is someone who
writes letters.
A CO-RESPONDENT is cited in divorce
proceedings.
council or counsel?A COUNCIL is a board of elected
representatives.
COUNSEL is advice, also the term used
for a barrister representing a client in
court.
councillor or
counsellor?
A COUNCILLOR is an elected
representative.
A COUNSELLOR is one who gives
professional guidance, such as a study
COUNSELLOR, a marriage
COUNSELLOR, a debt COUNSELLOR.
credible or credulous?If something is CREDIBLE, it is believable.
If someone is CREDULOUS,theyare
gullible (i.e. too easily taken in).
curb or kerbTo CURB one’s temper means to control
or restrain it.
A CURB is a restraint (e.g. a curb bit for a
horse).
A KERB is the edging of a pavement.
currant or current?A CURRANT is a small dried grape used
in cooking.
A CURRENT is a steady flow of water, air
or electricity.
CURRENT can also mean happening at
the present time (as in CURRENT affairs,
CURRENT practice).

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