infer and imply

I seldom use infer or imply. That’s probably why I tend to confuse them. If you also sometimes confuse these challenging words, the examples below may help.

The first example is in the words of a radio talk show host, who was joking about what a leading political figure might say if he were to be candid:

How dare you, Mr. Kucinich, infer that I am who I am!

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., “The writer or speaker implies (hints, suggests); the reader or listener infers (deduces).”

I infer (deduce) that the talk show host meant to say:

How dare you, Mr. Kucinich, imply that I am who I am!

Here’s an example of another proper use of infer:

Based on what you just said, I infer that you don’t intend to support this bill.

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About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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