Word Confusion: Access versus Excess

Posted June 27, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Ooh, yeah, I’d love ta git me some access to an excess!

Just like kids would love access to those cookies in the cookie jar, or an unhappy woman might want an excess of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

I reckon one might consider that, while we don’t have an excess of accessible ramps for the handicapped, the availability of this access is improving.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Access Excess
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Photograph is Acabashi’s own work [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Black sculpted metal gates, designed and constructed by Ben Coode-Adams, grant access to the garden of Feeringbury Manor in the civil parish of Feering, Braintree, Essex, England.

Image is Aspen04’s own work and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Excess human adipose tissue.

Part of Grammar:
Adjective; Noun;
Verb, transitive

Past tense or past participle: accessed
Gerund or Present participle: accessing

Adjective; Noun
Denoting noncommercial broadcasting produced by local independent groups, rather than by professionals

Means of approaching or entering a place 1

Right or opportunity to use or benefit from something

Right or opportunity to approach or see someone

Action or process of obtaining or retrieving information stored in a computer’s memory

Condition of being able to be reached or obtained

[Singular] Attack or outburst of an emotion

Usually as be accessed

[Computing] Obtain, examine, or retrieve data or a file

Approach or enter a place

Gain the right or opportunity to use or benefit from something

Exceeding a prescribed or desirable amount

Amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable

Amount by which one quantity or number exceeds another

Lack of moderation in an activity, especially eating or drinking

[Plural] Outrageous or immoderate behavior

Action of exceeding a permitted limit

PBS is public-access television.

Wheelchair access is on the side.

I’ll need access to the security tapes.

Since the divorce, his grandparents have been denied access.

Can you access the financials?

This hotel has private beach access.

I’d like to get rid of my excess fat.

In an excess of hatred…

People addicted to food usually eat an excess of it.

There was an excess of imports over exports which affects the debt ratio.

Hangovers usually result from an excess of alcohol.

The worst excesses of the 1960s were free love and drugs.

History of the Word:
Middle English (in the sense of a sudden attack of illness from the Latin accessus from the verb accedere, which means to approach

1 First recorded in the early 17th century

Late Middle English from the Old French which is, in turn, from the Latin excessus from excedere meaning go out, surpass.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

“Seattle – Pie-eating contest 2003” uploaded by Jmabel from Seattle Municipal Archives from Seattle, WA, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.