Wildly vs. Widely

SO Commonly Confused

By Annette Rey

This particular misuse occurs frequently, on all kinds of platforms of television programs, radio, and in daily conversation. Recently I heard it on a commercial. Curious?

“Pharmacy prices vary wildly.”

I’m sorry, but I wasn’t aware dollar amounts were capable of action or expressing movement or emotion. The way this is spoken, I picture dollar bills waving their paper length and somehow jumping up and down. And if they had a voice, screaming. In other words, they would be behaving wildly.

If in fact, this statement was spoken correctly, the dollar amounts would be simply one of comparative, computable mathematics. The correct way to say what was meant to be said is: “Pharmacy prices vary widely.”

Use of our English language has become so loose, this incorrect phrase is used by everyone from student to blue collar to the highest elite.

The chicken in the photograph is reacting wildly to the dog’s approach.

Keep your ear tuned. You will catch it, too.

And, certainly, don’t confuse these words in your writing.





8 thoughts on “Wildly vs. Widely

  1. Thank you. I react wildly to that commercial! I’m happy to see at least a few other people feel the same way I do, though as is usually the case, opinions vary widely. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s