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
Compel(led) / Impel(led)
Two more words that are similar in meaning but still different – it is the agency that is different. It is not one I see very often but looking around linguistic sites writing advice resources, it seems common enough. I have seen it though, blog writers saying that they were compelled to write a blog post on a certain subject when they meant impelled. Both imply a sense of having to do something but only one of these means “forced”.
Compel – Denotes a level of force. You must do something because you have no choice in the matter.
Impel – No force is included but there is a strong feeling of a desire to do something.
I am impelled to write Wrong Word Wednesday to counter the poor use of English language.