Confusing words

Confusing words: H

I read in a recent newspaper article: “Footage of densely crowded streets and crammed queues in London showed hoards of shoppers ignoring, or unable to obey, social distancing measures.”

That’s incorrect.

  • A hoard is an accumulated store of something, and the verb to hoard means to accumulate a store of something.
  • A crowd or a mob is a horde.

You can’t have hoards of shoppers. They meant hordes. It’s sometimes happened this year that hordes of shoppers have bought toilet rolls with a view to having hoards of them.

You can read about the difference between horde and hoard and a whole lot more, in the Clifford & Co editorial style guide.