Accept vs. Except

Here is another homonym pair that is sometimes confused or misused. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Accept is a verb that means to receive willingly, or to admit a person into a group, or to approve of an idea.

Examples:
The summer intern accepted the job offer.
SPE accepts IT people as members if they have a degree and work in the oil
industry.
Horizontal drilling is a widely accepted method of producing oil from thin reservoirs.

Except is usually used as a preposition or conjunction, but sometimes it is a verb that means to exclude or object.

Examples:
Every summer intern was offered a job except Bob.
(preposition that means “with the exception of”)

SPE would have renewed your membership except you didn’t pay your dues.
(conjunction that means “only”)

He excepted horizontal drilling from the list of potential production methods.
(verb that means “to leave out of the group”)

If in doubt, ask “leave it out?”
If the answer is yes, then use “except.”

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Profound Observation of the Day:
Smiles are like hugs: whenever you give one, you get one in return.
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