3 Words that Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean

3 Words that Don’t Mean What You Think They Mean
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Updated on 18 September 2014

1. Peruse You’ll often hear people use peruse to mean skimming something: I’ll just peruse these documents quickly before our meeting.

What it actually means: Peruse: To examine or consider with care; to read completely

2. Bemused People tend to confuse bemused with amused, and so they’ll use it to describe being entertained by something: I was completely bemused when my little brother began reciting knock-knock jokes.

What it actually means: Bemuse: to confuse or bewilder

3. Ironic There are so many ways people misuse the word ironic that it’s hard to catalog them all. Here are a few examples: Don’t you think it’s ironic that it’s raining on our wedding day? It’s ironic that you’re eating strawberry ice cream while wearing a white shirt, and I’m eating vanilla ice cream while wearing a red shirt. You might think that I care about your opinion but ironically, I don’t.

What it actually means: Ironic: Both coincidental and contradictory in a humorous or poignant and extremely improbable way.

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