Using the right word series: Always B correct

Since I’m on vacation this week and writing isn’t high on my desired things to do list, I’m posting the second blog for this series right away. It’s my own fault for not getting ahead in my blog writing.

Must. Plan. Better.

This installment will address “B” words that are commonly used incorrectly. Ready? Let’s get this rolling so I can resume vacation mode.

Between, among

Between implies a two person or thing choice, exchange or relationship. Among implies more than two.

Nancy agonized over choosing between chocolate cake and strawberry pie.

Bob decided on vanilla ice cream from among the 32 flavors available.

Between you and me

Between you and me is always correct. Never use between you and I.

Between you and me, Nancy and Bob would make a cute couple.

Biannually, biennially

Biannually means twice a year. Biennially means once every two years.

Nancy visits her uncle biannually to help at his farm.

Bob only runs the marathon biennially because of his busy schedule.

Bimonthly, biweekly

Bimonthly can mean both occurring every two months and occurring twice a month. Biweekly is similarly confusing, meaning both every two weeks and twice a week.

To avoid confusion, don’t use them. Instead, say exactly what you mean: twice a week, twice a month, once every two weeks, or once every two months.

Blatant, flagrant

Blatant means obviously noticeable and obtrusive. Flagrant means the same but is a bit stronger and implies a more over-the-top action.

Nancy has a blatant dislike of everything Bob does.

Maybe Nancy doesn’t like Bob because he has a flagrant disregard for the rules.

Boom, boon

A boom is a loud noise or a period of rapid growth or expansion. A boon is a timely benefit or favor.

Nancy took advantage of the housing boom and got a low interest rate on her mortgage.

Low interest rates were a boon to Bob when he bought his car.

Bring, take

Believe it or not, these two words don’t mean the same thing. Bring indicates action coming toward the speaker. Take indicates action taken away from the speaker.

Nancy will take her list to the pet store and bring home food and toys for the dog.

That’s all I have for the B’s, and I’m ready to get back to vacation now. If you can think of any other “B” words that are sometimes used incorrectly, post them in the comments so we can discuss their proper usage.

The next installment will be the C’s, and there are plenty of them. Be sure to follow this blog so you don’t miss out!

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