Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television.
Insure / Ensure / Assure
The first two are similarly spelt and similarly pronounced, their meanings too are similar but not identical. They are both variations on securing something and I’ve seen a few instances where the meanings are confused.
Insure – To protect against something. “You insure your car in case of fire, theft, vandalism and accidents”. Best used in reference to finance.
Ensure – To guarantee something. “We are taking these measures to ensure continued economic recovery.”
Assure is something slightly different:
Assure – To assure is to make a promise to a person or group of people. “We assure our customers that this will not happen again”