Confusing Words from Incidence to Indict

If something is dull and boring, is it incipient or insipid? When someone has understanding and discernment, do they have incite or insight? If a person is skeptical, are they incredible or incredulous? When you teach something to someone by repetition, do you inculcate it or inculpate it?

police crime scene tape, flickr

incidence, incidents
Incidence is the act of something occurring or the rate of occurrence of something, particularly something negative. It is also degree, extent, or frequency of occurrence; amount.
The high incidence of murder in the sleepy little town made the family rethink moving there.
Incidents are occurrences or events.
The high rate of crime incidents that took place over the weekend is the reason more police are present on the streets.

incipient, insipid
If a cold is incipient, it is beginning to exist or appear.
Her incipient cold decreased her energy.
If food is insipid, it is dull, uninteresting, and probably tasteless.
The reviewer could not bring herself to finish reading the insipid book.

incite, insight
Incite means to encourage or urge on.
She didn’t mean for her actions to incite a riot that put her life and the lives of those with her in danger.
Insight is understanding and discernment.
The detective’s insight into the real reason the murder was committed aided in the capture of the killer.

incredible, incredulous
If someone tells you something that is incredible, it is so extraordinary as to seem impossible. It is hard to believe.
The town held a contest to see who could spin the most incredible tale.
When your friend tells you an incredible story, you will probably show unbelief and be incredulous, which means skeptical.
The winning tale would be the one that left the judges the most incredulous.

Ryan Cooper, 9, plays notes during a repeating game with Katlyn Zunker, Scott Air Force Base

inculcate, inculpate
Inculcate means to teach or instill something in a person by repeating the lesson over and over
The teacher would inculcate the meanings of the vocabulary words in her students.
Inculpate means to incriminate or charge with fault.
His friends in the gang inculpated him for hiding part of the proceeds from the robbery for himself.

indict, indite
Indict means to accuse or formally charge someone with a wrongdoing
She is liable to indict every member of her family for attempting to kill her before she changes her will.
Indite is a word that should be familiar to writers. It means to put in writing, to express or describe in prose or verse.
She will indite their wrongdoings in her next book.

trial by jury, wikimedia commons

indicted, indited
Indicted means having been charged with an offense, crime, or wrongdoing.
He was indicted for not protecting the president.
Indited means having put in writing, having expressed or described in prose or verse.
She indited their wrongdoings in a lengthy book.

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