Are you ever unsure if you should insure, ensure or assure?
This happens to me often, which causes me great displeasure. In order to bring closure to the issue, though, I am offering a few simple rules:
- Insure is a fine word, but it’s best just to use it when referring to financial compensation, such as with an insurance policy.
- Ensure is the word you want when explaining that something will or will not happen.
- Assure, meanwhile, refers to when you are filling someone with confidence about whatever you are discussing.
I assure you, for example, that many people feel cocksure that you can use insure in many other instances. I hope, though, that you won’t bow to the pressure and use ensure and insure interchangeably.
As if the words weren’t confusing enough, there are an immeasurable number of seemingly related words that will make you feel even less surefooted.
- Ensure is also the name of a healthy drink for adults.
- Esurance is the annoying name of a company that wants you to buy insurance from them even though they make up words and are blurring grammar rules. If you ever contact them, please say “E want to speak to an esurance agent emmediately about thees inormous charge for my new iglasses.”
- Rasure is an older word that means “an erasure.” I have no idea how to use that in a sentence, but I hope to work it into a conversation at work in the near future.
- You can be reinsured and reassured, but never reensured.
- You can, however, be oversure, which means to be too sure or presumptuous.
- The best way to get a tonsure seems to be if you become a monk and shave the top of your head.
- You can coinsure people if you insure them jointly, or you can to be a usurer, if you loan someone money with very high interest.
- Insureds are people or organizations whose life or property is covered by an insurance policy.
- You can get a suretyship, which is some special insurance policy that I will probably never purchase because I don’t understand it and I don’t have a ship.
- Preassure is when you assure someone beforehand. I am not sure why that is not the same as just assuring them, but it is somehow different. It also looks way too much like the word pressure.
- If you ever want to receive acupressure, which feels pleasurable around areas of commissure, especially if you are wearing leisurewear, you should first check the office licensure.
- If you ever become a cynosure, meaning that you attract a lot of attention, often due to your brilliance (or you are the North Star if you are capitalized Cynosure) you will likely receive a lot of exposure from the media.
- If you have an actual shield that you treasure, you may also have a tressure.
So before I discuss any more sure words and make you lose your composure, what can we learn from all of this?
- First of all, if you bring up ensure and insure often, be assured that you will receive plenty of grammatical countermeasures from those who disagree.
- I assure you, though, that if you can ensure when you make certain and insure when you talk about money, you will achieve a measure of respect and avoid censure.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have learned that my obsession over ensure/insure/assure and other sure words may seem like interesting leisure reading to me, but we all know that this column is a strong candidate for rasure.
Any thoughts on insure, ensure or assure? Feel free to comment or disagree below. Thanks.