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  • Gaff vs. gaffeGaffe = (1) a clumsy social error, (2) a faux pas, or (3) a blatant mistake or misjudgment. Gaff has several rarely used senses, mostly relating to fishing and hunting.
  • Gainsay= to declare false or contradict (a statement).
  • Galore= in great numbers or in abundance. It comes after the noun it modifies.
  • GambitIt traditionally refers to an opening move, especially one involving sacrifice, but it's now synonymous with maneuver.
  • Gantlet vs. gauntletGauntlet is the usual spelling in run the gauntlet and through down the gauntlet, even though there is an etymological basis for using gantlet in the former idiom.
  • Gaol vs. jailGaol still appears from time to time, but it is fast becoming an archaism. Jail is now the usual spelling throughout the English-speaking world.
  • Gargle vs. gurgleGargle = to pass air through liquid suspended in the back of the throat. Gurgle = to flow in an irregular current, or to make a noise resembling liquid flowing in an irregular current.
  • Gases vs. gassesGases is the usual plural. Gasses is the simple-present verb.
  • Gaudy vs. gawdyGaudy is the more common spelling.
  • Gaveled vs. gavelledgaveled and gaveling in the U.S.; gavelled and gavelling everywhere else.
  • Gay= homosexual. It's no longer offensive. The word's other senses are obsolescent.
  • Gender vs. sexSex now mostly has to do with sexual intercourse and sexual organs, while gender is the preferred term for one's male/female identity.
  • Gerunds
  • Gesundheit= God bless you (after someone sneezes).
  • Get down to brass tacks= get to the essentials.
  • Get religion1. to get serious about an issue and devote proper attention to it; 2. to reform one's view toward something.
  • Gibe, jibe, jiveGibe = a taunt. Jibe = to be in accord. Jive = jazz music or dancing, or nonsense talk.
  • Gift (as a verb)Some people don't like it, but it is a part of the language.
  • Gild vs. guildTo gild is to cover with a layer of gold. A guild is an association of people with the same interests, trade, or pursuits.
  • GimmeGimme = a short putt doesn't have to take because it's too easy to miss.
  • Ginormous= a humorous, emphatic fusion of gigantic (or giant) and enormous.
  • Glad-hand= to greet cordially.
  • Glamour vs. glamorIt's spelled glamour everywhere.
  • Glom onto= (1) to grab, snatch, or steal; (2) to attach oneself or associate oneself with.
  • Gobbledygook= nonsense, especially jargonistic or verbose.
  • Gobsmacked= (1) urprised, (2) dumbfounded, or (3) awestruck.
  • God (capitalization)It is capitalized when it's treated like a name (e.g., "I heard the voice of a God"). There is no logical reason to capitalize it when it functions as a common noun (e.g., "he is a cruel god"), yet many people capitalize it in such situations anyway.
  • Godspeed= may you prosper on your way.
  • Goes without sayingIt often bears removal, but it is not as bad as some people say it is, and it can be useful as a transitional phrase.
  • Gofer vs. gopherGopher = a burrowing rodent. Gofer = an employee who goes for things.
  • GonnaIt is a ubiquitous colloquial abbreviation going to.
  • Goodly= (1) quite large or considerable, and (2) of pleasing appearance. The second sense is obsolescent.
  • Gorilla vs. guerrillaGorilla = a species of great ape. Guerrilla = a member of a paramilitary united operating in occupied territory.
  • Got vs. gotten= the usual participle of get in the U.S. and Canada, with exceptions in specific uses.
  • Governance vs. governmentGovernment = (1) a governing body, especially of a nation, state, municipality, etc.; (2) the act of governing. Governance = the act of governing.
  • Grammar vs. usageUsage = how words are used to convey meaning. Grammar = how words are used to construct sentences.
  • Grandfather (as a verb)= to exempt from new rules or restrictions (a person or thing predating the new rules or restrictions).
  • Grateful vs. gratifiedTo be grateful is to be thankful. To be gratified is to be satisfied or pleased.
  • Gray vs. greyGray in the U.S.; grey everywhere else.
  • Grill vs. grilleThe cooking surface with parallel metal bars is a gril. The grating at the front of an automobile is a grille.
  • GrindedThe verb ground is usually uninflected, but grinded has gained ground in some uses, especially where the word means to overcome adversity by playing hard.
  • Grisly vs. grizzlyGrizzly = (1) grayish or flecked with gray, and (2) of or relating to the large brown bear native to western North America. Grisly = gruesome, ghastly, or inspiring repugnance.
  • Ground zeroOriginally it referred to the point on the ground beneath an atomic bomb explosion. Later it came to refer to the center of any disaster. Now it often refers to the center of anything, even neutral and good things.
  • Guesstimate= a fusion of guess and estimate and synonymous with both.
  • Gung-ho= zealously enthusiastic.
  • Gymnasia vs. gymnasiumsThe English plural is far more common.
  • The Grammar Casino

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