Wrong Word Wednesday #52

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.

Explicit / Implicit

Both describe a way of illustrating something, an expression of intent yet the difference is in how the thing is being presented.

Explicit – to clearly express something, make it obvious with no room for interpretation. It is best to remember this by associating it with “express” (in terms of saying something directly, not the other meaning of speed).

Implicit – to express something by suggestion. It is best to remember this by associating it with “imply” and “implication”.

For example, some say that the violence in Quentin Tarantino’s films is explicit. The message that the opposite sex may find you more sexually appealing if you drink a certain drink, wear a certain scent is implicit.

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