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  • E-book, ebook, eBookOutside the U.K., e-book is the preferred form. In the U.K., ebook prevails. The latter will likely catch on elsewhere.
  • E-mail vs. emailThe older form, e-mail, is still preferred in a few corners of the publishing world, but email now prevails and is likely to grow even more common.
  • E. coliThe E. is capitalized, and the coli is not. This is the conventional way of treating species names.
  • E.g. vs. i.e. E.g. = for example. I.e. = that is, or in other words.
  • Each other vs. one anotherThe conventional advice is to use each other for two people and one another for more than two people, but this advice is not consistently borne out, and there's no reason we should follow it.
  • Earth (capitalization)Capitalize it when it's a proper noun. Leave it uncapitalized when it's a common noun.
  • Earthy vs. earthlyEarthly: of, related to, or characteristic of the earth. Earthly: (1) plain, (2) natural, or (3) indecent or coarse.
  • Economic vs. economicalEconomic = having to do with economics. Economical = prudent, efficient, or thrifty.
  • Economics vs. financeEconomics = money on a large-scale or abstract level. Finance = the monetary matters of a person, company, government, or household.
  • Eek vs. ekeEke = (1) to manage with difficulty (to make a livelihood), and (2) to make something last by practicing strict economy. Eek = an interjection expressing fear, shock, or surprise.
  • Eighty-six: 1. to eject someone from a business or to refuse service; 2. to cancel, reject, or prevent.
  • Elder, eldest= variants of older and oldest used mainly in reference to people.
  • Electric, electrical, electronicThey are interchangeable in some uses and distinct in some uses, and in other uses the distinction is blurry.
  • Elegy vs. eulogyElegy = poem, song, or other work of art composed as a lament for someone who has died. Eulogy = a funeral speech.
  • Elfs vs. elvesElves is the standard form.
  • Elicit vs. illicitElicit: to give rise to, to draw out, or to evoke. Illicit: illegal.
  • Ellipsis
  • Elocution vs. locutionElocution = (1) a style or manner of speaking, and (2) the art of public speaking. Locution = a word or a phrase.
  • Em dash (Em rule)
  • Emigrate vs. immigrateEmigrate = to leave one's country to settle elsewhere. Immigrate = to settle in a new country.
  • Eminent vs. immanent vs. imminentEminent: distinguished. Imminent: impending. Immanent: inherent (to).
  • Empathetic vs. empathicEmpathetic is the preferred form in most contexts, but emphatic is preferred in science, psychology, and spiritual writing.
  • Empathy vs. sympathyEmpathy is the ability to emotionally identify with another person. Sympathy is compassion or affinity.
  • En dash (En rule)
  • En route= (1) on or along the way; (2) on the road. It is sometimes spelled on route and enroute.
  • En vogue, in vogueBoth spellings are common. There is nothing wrong with the English one.
  • Enamor vs. enamourenamor in the U.S.; enamour everywhere else.
  • Enclose vs. incloseEnclose is the preferred form.
  • Endear= to make dear.
  • Endeavor vs. endeavourEndeavor in the U.S.; endeavour everywhere else.
  • Endemic vs. epidemicEpidemic = spreading rapidly by infection and infecting many individuals simultaneously. Endemic = prevalent in a particular region or among a people.
  • EnervateTraditionally it means to weaken or to sap of energy or will. Today it's widely used as a synonym of energize.
  • Enervate vs. innervateTo enervate is to weaken or sap the energy of. To innervate is stimulate to action.
  • England, Great Britain, United KingdomEngland is the country. Great Britain is the island. The United Kingdom is the state comprising English, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
  • English moods (imperative, indicative, and subjunctive)
  • Engrain vs. ingrainIngrain is the more common spelling.
  • Enormity vs. enormousnessEnormity = (1) wickedness; (2) enormousness. Enormousness = the quality of being great in size, number, or degree.
  • Enquire vs. inquireIn British English, enquire tends to refer to informal queries and inquire to formal investigations. In large swaths of usage, though, the two words are interchangeable, with inquire being the more common form.
  • Enrol vs. enrollEnroll in the U.S.; enrol outside North America. Both are used in Canada.
  • Enthuse= to be enthusiastic or to show enthusiasm.
  • Entitled vs. titledBoth mean called or named. Titled is newer in this use, but it's now the more common form, with entitled reserved for its senses having to do with people's rights and claims to things.
  • Entomology vs. etymologyEtymology = the study of word origins. Entomology = the study of insects.
  • Envelop vs. envelopeEnvelop is a verb. Envelope is a noun.
  • Envision vs. envisageBoth mean to visualize, but envisioning tends to involve more distant, imaginary things, while envisaging involves imagining reality-based projects and outcomes.
  • Envision vs. invisionEnvision is the standard spelling.
  • Envoi vs. envoyEnvoy = a representative on a diplomatic mission. Envoi = a closing stanza in certain forms of poetry. The former is sometime used for the latter.
  • Epicenter= originally the point of the ground above the center of an earthquake; later the center of any disaster or dangerous event; now just the center of anything, not necessarily disastrous or negative.
  • Epigram vs. epigraphEpigram = (1) a concise, clever saying, or (2) a short, witty poem. Epigraph = (1) a motto or quotation at the beginning of a literary composition, or (2) an inscription on a statue or building.
  • EponymousIt originally described the person for whom something is named, but it now usually describes something named after someone.
  • Equable, equatable, equitableEquable = unvarying, free from extremes, or not easily disturbed. Equatable = capable of being equated. Equitable = fair, impartial, or proportionate.
  • Equivalence vs. equivalencyEquivalence is the preferred form, except in relation to American educational equivalence exams.
  • Ere vs. errEre = before. Err = to make a mistake.
  • Ergo= therefore, hence.
  • ErsatzErsatz = (1) serving as a substitute, or (2) artificial.
  • Especial= uncommon or exceptional.
  • Espresso vs. expressoEspresso is the original and preferred form.
  • Esprit de corps= pride in the body to which one belongs.
  • Estimate vs. estimationAn estimate is an approximate calculation or evaluation, and an estimation is the process of approximately calculating or evaluating.
  • Et al. = and others (in reference to people).
  • Et cetera (etc.)= and the rest.
  • Ethics vs. moralsMorals are the principles on which one's judgments of right and wrong are based. Ethics is (1) a code of conduct, and (2) the study of codes of conduct.
  • Ethnicity vs. racePeople of the same race share genetically transmitted physical characteristics. People of the same ethnicity share cultural, linguistic, religious, and often racial characteristics.
  • Evacuate= (1) to empty; (2) to withdraw from or vacate a place.
  • Everyday vs. every dayEveryday = an adjective describing things that are ordinary or that occur every day. Every day = an adverbial phrase meaning each day.
  • Everything happens for a reasonThe phrase is a cliche and a perfect example of the pathetic fallacy.
  • Evoke vs. invokeTo evoke is (1) to summon or call forth, (2) to call to mind, and (3) to call up a memory from the past. To invoke is, primarily, to call upon something, especially aid, assistance, or a higher power.
  • Ex post facto= after the fact.
  • Exalt vs. exultTo exalt is to raise in rank, to glorify, or to increase the effect or intensity of. To exult is to rejoice greatly or to be jubilant or triumphant.
  • Exclamation point
  • Exercise vs. exorciseTo exercise is to engage in activity meant to improve one's physical fitness. To exorcise is to purge something spiritually bad (usually from someone).
  • Exhibit vs. exhibitionExhibit = a small public showing of one object or a few objects. Exhibition = a large public showing of many such objects.
  • Existent vs. extantSomething extant is old and continues to exist. Something existent simply exists and may be old or new.
  • ExistentialExistential = of or relating to existence.
  • Expectant vs. expectingExpectant = (1) having or marked by expectation; (2) (preceding the noun it modifies), pregnant. Expecting also means pregnant but in this use it tends not to be used where it precedes the noun it modifies.
  • Exploitative vs. exploitiveExploitative, despite its unwieldiness, is the preferred form.

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