“Palatal” is an adjective referring to the roof of the mouth which consists of the hard and soft palates.
“There are unique sounds such as “y” in “yeast” that require the tongue to arch to the palatal area to form words.”
“Palatial” is an adjective meaning awesome, amazing or rich such as in a palace.
“The furnishings in the bungalow were elegant and rich and gave it a palatial and exotic feeling.”
“Plaintiff” (n.) refers to a person who brings an action in a court of law, a complainant or a litigant.
“The plaintiff in the harassment lawsuit against the neighbours was considered to be the crone of the town and did not receive much sympathy from anyone.”
“Plaintive” is an adjective meaning mournful, anguished or tormented.”
“The plaintive cries of the small animal touched our hearts and resulted in frantic calls being sent to the local humane society to rescue it.
The easiest way to distinguish the two words is to enunciate each properly because one ends in an “f” sound and one ends in a “v” sound.
“Fortuitous” is an adjective referring to events that happen by chance or randomly that have no apparent cause. They may be good or bad.
“It was purely fortuitous that the meter reader came along and ticketed my car five minutes before I returned to my car.”
“Fortunate” is an adjective meaning unexpected good fortune, lucky or favourable.
“I was fortunate to by a winning lottery ticket and now I have no more financial worries.”
Fortunate events may be fortuitous but fortuitous events may not be fortunate.
Identify and correct the errors in the following pieces.
“Knowing what he’s facing is far less frightening than the journey he’s already travelled. A journey that began with some familiar symptoms ignored one more time.”
“The last group of words is not a sentence because it has no principal clause. The punctuation needs to be fixed.
I object to the contraction “he’s” being used twice in this sentence because once it means “he is” and the second time it means “he has”. It presumes too much.
“Knowing what he is facing is far less frightening than the journey he has already travelled, a journey that began with some familiar symptoms ignored one more time.”
“Just one in three Canadians say they’re ‘very satisfied’ with their employer, according to a new survey, but that’s still good enough to make Canadians among the most satisfied workers in the world.”
The subject of the sentence is “one” and the verb is the plural “say”. Subject and verb must agree. Once this is corrected, “they’re” and “their” are incorrect and must be made singular.
“Just one in three Canadians says he’s ‘very satisfied’ with his employer, according to a new survey, but that’s still good enough to make Canadians among the most satisfied workers in the world.”
“Sensual” is an adjective usually relating to sense desires and experiences of the body. It connotes animal instincts, fleshy desire and carnal knowledge.
“Her sensual movement on the dance floor caused many to stop what they were doing to watch her.”
“Sensuous” is an adjective referring more often used for aesthetic pleasures. It often has a slightly racy or even judgmental tone which is lacking in “sensual”.
“The sensuous aromas emanating from the kitchen caused the epicure to smile with pleasure and anticipation.”
DEFINITELY WORTH A TRY
“Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave more in a divine manner.”
Carlos Santana, a Mexican and American rock guitarist born in 1947, said this in an interview in 2004.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Palliate” (v.) means to cause to appear less heinous, to mitigate, to relieve or to alleviate.
“Palliative” is the adjective form.
“Palliation” is the noun form.
“We have established hospital departments that try to palliate the sometimes difficult and emotionally draining process of dying.”
“Porcine” (adj.) means resembling hogs or pigs or swinish. Connotatively it means coarsely gluttonous, greedy or repellently fat.
“Jabba the Hutt in the Star Wars movie is a perfect example of a gross, porcine and self-indulgent being.”
“Futilitarian” (adj.) means believing or holding the philosophy that human hopes are vain and that human strivings are unjustified.
“The Theatre of the Absurd movement that arose during the cold war era was rife with futilitarian forebodings about the end of the world.”
“Androgynous” (adj.) means having both female and male characteristics or hermaphroditic.
“The dancer at the club was so androgynous that he was happily identified as being female.”
“Calumny” (n.) means a vicious attack, defamation, abuse or insult.
“The TV commentator treated every liberal office holder with such calumny that he was banned from many interview sites.”