Tricky Rules

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Magnificent/Munificent

Magnificent means “grand,” literally “made great” or “doing great things.” Its root is magn- which means “great” or “large.” Munificent means “lavish” or “very generous,” literally “making gifts.” The root muni- means “gift.”

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Perspective/Prospective

Perspective means “point of view, especially the ability to see the whole of something.” In art, it specifically means the ability to present three dimensional objects using a two dimensional medium. Perspective is normally a noun. The prefix per- means “completely.” Prospective means “future or potential” and is normally an adjective. The noun form is

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Should Have/Should Of

Could of does not exist. Neither do should of, will of, or would of as verbs. Write could have, should have, will have, or would have. If you want to emphasize the pronunciation, write it as a verb contraction: could’ve, should’ve, will’ve, or would’ve.

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Manic/Maniac

Manic, an adjective, is a clinical term having to do with a psychological affliction. Maniac, a noun, is a crazy person. The adjective form is maniacal, with the accent on the second syllable. Examples: He takes lithium for manic depression. She started acting like a maniac when she heard the news.

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Persuade/Convince

A person is convinced by evidence or argument made to the intellect. A person is persuaded by appeals made to the will, moral sense, or emotions. A person is convinced of a doctrine, belief, or duty. A person is convicted of a crime, sin, or personal wrongdoing. The noun form of both words is conviction.

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