Is there a better verb than "confuse" in this passage:

Joe has confused the terms A, B, and C. When describing B he used the attributes of A. Also, Joe used attributes of C when discussing A.

  • 2
    That highly technical term 'mixed up'. Nov 5, 2013 at 17:26
  • I would suggest 'transposed' (but I think that specifically applies to numbers) or 'misappropriated' (to put to a wrong use). Mar 21, 2014 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


Also, you may use 'conflate'. Conflate has a much better sense here than 'confuse' imo. Even though 'conflate' is defined as 'confuse' it has a secondary meaning of 'to bring together, to fuse'. The first meaning doesn't have a negative connotation, but the the second meaning of 'confusion' does (i.e. that you are conflating in error things that should not be conflated).


equivocate means to describe something in an ambiguous way such that it may lead one into confusing one for the other. This may be on purpose or by accident. We don't know which Joe was doing, because the phrase itself is ambiguous as to his intent.

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