Professional Style

Grisly vs. Grizzly

September 2015
Spot the Error

When the police entered the apartment, they found a grizzly scene: a savagely mutilated and decomposing corpse.

Grrrrrrrizzly (that’s my bear imitation) means having grayish hair. However, it is more commonly known as the name of the North American brown bear with gray-tipped fur. (Bet you didn’t know that about the grizzly bear.)

The “police” sentence above, however, has nothing to do with bears or the color gray. That is to say, the scene is not grizzly … but it is grisly. Grisly means gruesome or causing a shudder or feeling of horror, which describes that scene to a T.

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