Thursday, May 27, 2010

As Requested- #4

Topic #4 From Travis (A.K.A. My Hubby): "You could write about how people use the word insure instead of ensure.. "

This post is to
ensure that you will not be insuring something you should truly ensure. After years of being with Travis, I just recently discovered one of his biggest pet peeves- people using the the words insure and ensure inappropriately. Let's take a look at good ol' to ensure that we truly understand the meanings of these words:

Insure: "to guarantee against loss or harm."

Ensure: "to secure or guarantee".

As you can see, these words are extremely similar, but they are not the same! The main difference is one simple word: against. When you insure something, you are insuring against some sort of harm (typically, financial harm); however, you cannot ensure against harm... you must simply ensure that something is done. Let's look at some correct examples from

This letter will ensure you a hearing.
Our precautions ensured our safety.
measures to ensure the success of an undertaking

a company that insures homeowners and businesses
- insured herself against losses; insured his car for theft

Now, if only we could get an insurance policy to insure against the improper use of
insure and ensure for people like Travis who want to ensure that they are properly paid for every time they must hear insure and ensure improperly spoken... :D


  1. I bet I make this mistake all the time. I use insure. So you don't have to reply that I am the one that does it. LOL I know I do. I never gave it too much thought. I am pretty good with my accept and excepts however. :)

  2. lol.. this is one mistake I never make.. but thanks for the clarification haha..I would be bugged too if someone used this wrong.. one of my biggest issues is affect and effect. I usually get it right but it does take some thought.

  3. @Mom LOL! I don't think it is just you. I don't even know if he has noticed you do it at all! Hehe! "Accept" and "except" are used more frequently, so as long as you have those two down, you are golden.
    @Linz Yeah, everyone has their English language "vice". Ahem... does lay, lie, raise, and rise ring a bell? :D