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It really means

It really means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Resembling small grains or particles

Correct use: In shredding the old budgets, a malfunction turned the sheets of paper into teeny-tiny spitballs and the accountants became buried under a granular blizzard of numbers.

Say these 10 words and you’ll immediately sound old. 

You think it means

You think it means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Very painful or unpleasant; like torture

Incorrect use: After sitting through a tortuous, all-mime version of Moby Dick, she found the musical adaptation sung in Icelandic to be enjoyable if a bit noisy.

It really means

It really means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Twisting or winding; devious or indirect; circuitous or involved

Correct use: Still, she appreciated the tortuous, decades-long road that the mimers had silently trudged to bring their show to her town.

Here are 18 words for things you never even knew had a name. 

You think it means

You think it means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Unfazed

Incorrect use: Jack was nonplussed when his new girlfriend described him as “slovenly” – he had been called that since he was a toddler and took it as a compliment.

It really means

It really means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Confused, surprised

Correct use: But Jack’s brother Will was nonplussed when his new girlfriend described him as slovenly – he had always been neat, even as a toddler. Make sure you know these other words that mean the complete opposite of what you thought.

Don’t miss these hilarious (but totally real) names for groups of animals.

You think it means

You think it means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Coincidental

Incorrect use: Patrick told his friend it was ironic that both their children were training to join the police force.

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It really means

It really means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Using words that mean the opposite of its literal meaning; marked by an incongruity between expectation and reality

Correct use: It’s quite ironic that Patrick’s son was arrested the day after he graduated police academy.

Here are 16 social media slang phrases you should really know by now.

You think it means

You think it means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Relating to spoken words

Incorrect use: Nancy gave me a verbal “yes” to my request to have baby animals visit the office on Fridays, but I still need written confirmation.

It really means

It really means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Relating to words or language in any form

Correct use: After baby sloth day, I got tons of verbal enthusiasm via email and by the water cooler from coworkers who said it was a hit.

Are you getting these 50 little etiquette rules wrong?

You think it means

You think it means
NICOLE FORNABAIO/RD.COM

Tragedy

Incorrect use: It was such a travesty that I was sick when there was cake in the office.

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