Word list: G

gamut, gambit, ambit

  • Gamut refers to the full range or scope of something.
  • Ambit means the scope, extent, or bounds of something.

The words are fairly interchangeable. In most contexts you could use either correctly.

Sometimes people get mixed up and say “gambit” when they mean gamut or ambit. This is incorrect. The word gambit is most commonly used to describe an an act or remark calculated to gain an advantage, especially at the outset of a situation. Its more specific meaning is a move within the initial moves of a chess game in which a player sacrifices a pawn or other low-value piece to gain an advantage. You probably don’t need to say “opening gambit” because a gambit is by definition an opening or early move.

And don’t confuse any of the foregoing with gamete, which is something in reproductive biology.

global pandemic

“Global pandemic” is almost always redundant, unless you’re distinguishing a worldwide epidemic from one that affects a big part of the world but not all of it. Pandemic usually refers to the whole world unless otherwise specified.

go-ahead, go ahead

When you give someone the go-ahead (noun), it’s hyphenated. As a verb, it’s two separate words: “Please, go ahead.”


Not capitalised.

Great Britain

Great Britain refers to England, Scotland and Wales. The term is sometimes incorrectly used to denote the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Unless you mean to exclude Northern Ireland, say Britain or (the) UK.