Wrong Word Wednesday #47

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.

Intrusive / Obtrusive

This is a really interesting one with incredibly similar meanings used in a similar context. Like how imply / infer it is all a matter of perspective and whether a person is doing or having it done to them.

Intrusive – To meddle in the affairs of others, being a busybody, imposing yourself.

Obtrusive – To have something impose itself and obstruct you.

For example, a nosey mother in law might intrude into the marriage of her child and his / her partner, that’s intrusive. Friends of the couple might see that the mother in law imposes herself onto the couple. To them, the mother in law is obtrusive.


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