Word Nerd: Is it Assure, Ensure, or Insure?
There is a difference between assure, ensure, and insure. In my experience, the more troublesome words are ensure and insure. Ensure has to do with making sure something’s going to happen or not; insure has to do with purchasing some type of insurance to recoup some loss of something. Assure means you will promise something.
Can you use them in a sentence, please? Why yes, I can; here are some examples:
- I know I haven’t attended the last two Membership Committee meetings, and now that my workload has lightened, I can assure you that I will attend next week’s meeting.
- You said we gained two new members last month for a total of 40 members in our chapter. I can assure you that’s not correct, and here’s why: Even though our membership list shows those as two new members, I checked and HQ said it has not yet received their membership fees. So they are not official members until HQ receives their payment, which may or may not happen this month; thus we only have 38 members in our chapter.
- The company announced the new phishing button will be installed within the week. “We want to ensure that employees have an easier way to report suspicious emails, and the PhishAlarm plug-in from Microsoft Outlook will do that for us. It will forward the message to our IT Service Desk and auto-delete the message from the employee’s inbox,” said the company’s president.
- To ensure we increase our chances of gaining more chapter sponsorship, Jim has agreed to reach out to all of his associates in Washington.
- Before we hold the A/E/C Scavenger Hunt, we should insure the Board of Directors for up to $100,000.
- Now that HQ has a permanent location to work from, please insure the building with extra hurricane coverage.
For more about these words, Merriam-Webster is a good place to start.
Bonus info! Did you know that two of these Word Nerds are on the red flag list, according to AXA XL (formerly known as DPIC - Design Professionals Insurance Company)? Back in the day, SDA handed out a bookmark (from DPIC) that said, “Think twice before using any of the following red flag words in your contract!” Assure and ensure are on that list.
Judy Beebe, FSDA is a member of the SDA National Membership
Committee and serves as the 2019-2020 Seattle Chapter Vice President.