Rebut vs. Refute; Asset vs. Fixed

“Writing is the painting of the voice.”
– Voltaire

Today we’ll be discussing another troublesome set of words: rebut vs. refute and asset vs. fixed. While it may seem as if these aren’t related, each has their place in specific types of industries (such as journalism of or law). Let’s take a deeper look at these words to discover how they arrived in the English language and how we still use them today.

Rebut vs. Refute.

Rebut. Rebute is a verb that was first used in 13C. It originally meant to thrust back, deriving from the Old French words reboter and rebuter. When used as a legal term, rebate means to prove evidence of an argument. In essence, one tries to bring disproof upon someone/thing. Moreover, when one rebuts a claim, it’s to reduce the effect of it. If a defendant can produce evidence against a claim that hasn’t much proof, then the defendant rebuts the presumption set against him/her.

The defendant wishes to rebut the fee.

Refute. Refute has been around since the 1510s. It’s defined as to refuse or reject. It originated from Middle French (réfuter), which derived from Latin’s refutare. It’s defined as proving an argument wrong by stating evidence or proof. One denies the truth or accuracy of allegations that have been placed against him/her. Moreover, to refute a claim or argument is to disprove it. Show that it is false by proving evidence, facts, and accurate details. 

She wants to refute the fee on her hotel bill.

Asset vs. Fixed.

Asset. Asset has been around since the early 1500s. It’s derived from the Old French word asez which means enough. These are items of ownership which convert into cash. These may include inventory, real estate investments, stocks, cash, equipment, etc. These items are recorded on a balance sheet in accordance to their liabilities and capital. In a legal sense, these assets are used to pay the debts or legacies of the deceased if they are left to an heir, administrator or executor.  

His assets included farmland located in northern Wisconsin.

Fixed. Fixed first arrived in the English language during late 14C, while the term fixed-income wasn’t used until around 1767. Fixed has a variety of definitions. Among these are the following:

a) To be secure in position. A fixed ladder sits against the bookcase.

b) A perspective or idea is inflexible. He is fixed on going swimming.

c) A competition or election in which the outcome is dishonestly predetermined. The basketball game is fixed and our team will win.

d) Determined; established. The fixed price of the sweater is $12.99.

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