Posted by: episystechpubs | September 2, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Assure, Ensure, and Insure

Good afternoon, folks!

Last week I was at Symitar’s Educational Conference and I was lucky enough to attend the “Business Writing” session taught by John Thomas, the Senior Manager of JHA’s Corporate Learning Solutions. I was also fortunate enough to get some new client subscribers to Editor’s Corner! Huzzah! Hurrah! We now have clients, employees, friends, and family subscribed to the group. We have readers from San Diego, California to Rockledge, Florida; from Okinawa, Japan to Athens, Greece. These are exciting times!

During John’s session, someone asked for the differences between the words assure, ensure, and insure. We provided her with a quick explanation, but since this question comes up frequently, I thought I’d go over the topic again.

The first thing I noticed about this trio is that they are commonly confused and with good reason. The definitions for each word point back to the other words as part of their etymologies or as possible synonyms. What we are looking at is the common and current differentiation between these words.Hopefully, these brief definitions will prevent you from getting tangled in their pasts.

· assure
to promise or say with confidence, encourage

Example: I assure you I have never lived in a convent, nor am I acquainted with Sister Mary Patrick.

· ensure
to make sure something will happen or won’t happen

Example: To ensure the freshness of our herbs and spices, we grow them on the rooftop and harvest them as orders come in.

· insure

to issue an insurance policy

From Merriam-Webster: guarantee “against a loss by a contingent event on certain stipulated conditions or at a given rate or premium.”

Example: Considering that I spend most of my day at a desk, I’m always a little nervous about the clause in our policy that insures us against accidental death and dismemberment.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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