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Words Congo

Suggest improvements for the highlighted problem area:

After a difficult bout with asthma, Katokwe went to her doctor. The prognosis omitted any reference to medication: only rest was proscribed. Her esteemed doctor ensured her that if she relaxed for a while, her condition would improve. Even her weekend trips as a balloonist had to be curtailed.

She decided to lounge on the shore next to a waterfall and read a magazine. But before Katokwe could even peruse it for an interesting article, her magazine was sopping wet from the mist. So instead of reading, she napped peacefully next to the murmurring river.


- Proscribe versus Prescribe -

Our opening paragraph has a mistake in the second sentence:

    only rest was proscribed.

The word proscribe means to forbid or to banish. Because her doctor probably wanted Katokwe's condition to improve, it is more likely that rest was prescribed. The word prescribe means to advise as treatment or to set down as a rule. Therefore we should make the correction:

    only rest was prescribed.

To remember the difference between prescribe and proscribe, consider memorizing the phrase:

    PREscribe is to PREfer as PROscribe is to PROhibit.

With this memory device in mind, we can say the following things about Katokwe's doctor:

    The doctor prescribed rest and proscribed exertion.
    If the government proscribes a drug, the doctor should not prescribe it to patients.


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