Thursday, June 14, 2012

discreet/discrete: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, June 14, 2012

The more common word is “discreet,” meaning “prudent, circumspect”: “When arranging the party for Agnes, be sure to be discreet; we want her to be surprised.” “Discrete” means “separate, distinct”: “He arranged the guest list into two discrete groups: meat-eaters and vegetarians.” Note how the T separates the two E’s in “discrete.”

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