This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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12 October 2012

Does my butt look big in this?

We were recently offered a complimentary gym membership. Some of the folks in the office thought a complimentary gym membership sounded like a great idea for those who don’t like to look at their side view in mirrors!

Compliment / complement is a troublesome pair. As you all know, the first is an expression of admiration but it also means something free, so the gym was correct. The second is something that adds extra features or benefits. 'She complimented me on the way my handbag complemented the outfit.' 

Liz of Libroediting has been blogging about troublesome pairs. Check out her index of troublesome pairs posts to see if you can find an entry on words that confuse you or your work colleagues.

Do I use compliment or complement?

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