Posted by: Jack Henry | April 20, 2023

Editor’s Corner: Option vs. Choice

Good day to you!

I was watching a quiz show on TV the other evening, and I heard one of the celebrity guests tease another for incorrectly using the word choice rather than option. He had said something like “We don’t have any good choices,” when he should have said “We don’t have any good options.”

For many people, the two words are used interchangeably, but they’re not actually synonymous. Here’s the gist: out of the options we are given, we make a choice. Options are just possibilities, but choices are commitments.

Another way to look at it according to is this: “An option is a noun for a thing and a choice is a noun for your decision.”

This confusion is so widespread, however, that you may still be working this out, so I’ll provide some examples of correct usage:

  • I don’t know what I want for dinner. What are my options?
  • There are so many good options on the menu, it’s hard for me to make a choice.
  • Marc was confused by all the options available to him at the used car lot.
  • He eventually made the choice to buy an electric car.
  • When deciding how to invest your money, you have many options.
  • Your financial advisor can help you make choices about the best investments for you.

I hope that helps! You have the option to make today a wonderful day. I hope you make the right choice. Enjoy!

Donna Bradley Burcher |Technical Editor, Advisory | jack henry™

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123

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About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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