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Safety deposit box

Safety deposit box
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

The phrase referring to a box in which valuables are stored is “safe-deposit box” because it’s a box in which you can make a safe deposit. Not a safety deposit. But this eggcorn is highly understandable because when you say “safe-deposit box” aloud, the first two syllables run together to sound exactly like “safety.”

Supposably

Supposably
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We assume you’re using “supposably” to mean “according to what many believe.” If so, then the word you’re actually looking for is “supposedly.”

Can you pass this test of fourth grade spelling words?

Undoubtably

Undoubtably
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

If what you mean is “without a shadow a doubt,” then you have two choices, and neither of them is “undoubtably.” You can say either “undoubtedly” or “indubitably.” Either one is correct. Just don’t mash them together to create an eggcorn.

Irregardless

Irregardless
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Yeah, yeah, we know what you’re about to say: The Merriam Webster Dictionary acknowledges irregardless as a “word” because for all intents and purposes (see what we did there?), its improper use has been so stubborn and pervasive that it’s become an actual word. However, “it is still a long way from general acceptance,” the dictionary editors acknowledge as they recommend that everyone please remove the “ir” from the beginning of the word and call it what it is: regardless.

Should of

Should of
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

Did you say “should of” when you really meant “should have“? That’s another eggcorn, but now you know better. It’s “should have,” “would have” and “could have.” There is no “of” in any of these phrases.

Inflammable

Inflammable
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

This one could get dangerous because it literally means the opposite of what you think it means (and yes, that was the correct use of “literally“). Inflammable means the same thing as flammable, which is to say, “combustible” or “capable of being set on fire.” So if you’re in the market for a good pot-holder, you should ask for one that’s not flammable.

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Entitled

Entitled
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

You’re welcome to use the word “entitled” to describe someone who believes him or herself to be inherently deserving of special treatment. But if you use it interchangeably with the word “titled,” you’re doing it wrong. Instead, just say “titled,” as in “that book, titled The Leftovers, was made into an HBO series.”

Infamous

Infamous
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

If you’re trying to say that someone is “very famous,” then you’re using the wrong word. “Infamous” means “famous for a negative reason.” Thus, the Joker is infamous for his malicious ways and his evil laugh, while Batman is famous for solving crimes in the city of Gotham.

Insure

Insure
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

If you’re not talking about promising to compensate someone for damages, loss, injury or death in exchange for advance payment, then you’re using this word wrong. If you’re talking about making sure of something, then you want to use “ensure.” If you’re talking about guaranteeing something, then you’ll want to use “assure.”

Affect versus Effect

Affect versus Effect
Tatiana Ayazo/RD.com

Affect is a verb that means to have an influence on. For example: The weather affected my mood.

Effect is a noun that refers to the influence: For example: The weather had no effect on my mood.

Sometimes “affect” is used as a noun to refer to feeling or emotion. For example, “Her face bore a dismal affect.” Using all three together: The weather always affected her mood. I could tell by her dismal affect that she’d been feeling the effects of seven straight days of rain.”

Sometimes “effect” is used as a verb when it means to cause something (which is a stronger verb than “affect,” which refers to merely having an influence on). Thus, you would “effect change,” and could be described as “effective.”

By contrast, you would not use “affective” to describe someone who gets things done. The word “affective” is used to when describing moods, and especially when describing mood disorders. For example, “He has an affective disorder. We aren’t yet sure if it’s depression or anxiety.”

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team