Re: Ensure, Assure, Insure

Subject: Re: Ensure, Assure, Insure
From: Sandy Nicholson <sandy -at- ambertext -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 15:42:50 +0100

Kirk - you asked:

In the following sentences, which use of ensure/assure is correct?

1. The information presented also ensures that the project will be delivered on time ...

That's fine.

2. The information presented also assures that the project will be delivered on time ...

That one doesn't make sense, though (unless perhaps it's an American usage that I haven't heard). One person can assure another person that they will deliver the project on time. It's also OK to say that the information presented assures someone that the project will be delivered on time. But `assure' definitely needs an object (a person to be assured).

Is there a way to avoid the use of assure/ensure/insure?

Note that in British English, `insure' always refers to insurance (as in promise of monetary compensation in case of loss etc.), but I understand that in American English `insure' can be synonymous with `ensure'. It's probably better to stick with `ensure' in such cases, to be on the safe side. There's also an insurance meaning for `assure' (perhaps especially in Britain) - your life can be assured.

But you asked how to avoid the use of these words altogether. I wouldn't personally try - they're good words to use in the right contexts. However, you could write `make sure' instead of `ensure', `give someone confidence that' (or something equally convoluted) instead of `assure someone that', and `take money off someone by frightening them into believing that they are at risk' for `insure someone'. :o)

Best wishes,

Ambertext, 2/Gf Bruntsfield Crescent, Edinburgh EH10 4EZ, Scotland
+44 (0) 131 447 9257 sandy -at- ambertext -dot- co -dot- uk
Sole proprietor: Alexander J Nicholson

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Ensure, Assure, Insure: From: Kirk Turner

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