Wednesday, November 12, 2014

decent/descent/dissent: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“Decent” (rhymes with “recent”) is used to label actions, things, or people that are respectable, appropriate, satisfactory, or kind.

The word to use when discussing ancestry is “descent” (rhymes with “we sent”). Somebody whose ancestors came from Brazil is of Brazilian descent.

Occasionally this latter word is confused with “dissent,” which means “disagreement.”

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