Writing for Business

Oct 20 2009   1:30PM GMT

Purposely or purposefully?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Although most information breaches aren’t committed _________, the effects can be just as serious as if there had been a security attack.
a. purposely
b. purposefully

Answer: a

Purposely means on purpose or intentionally. It describes an action with a specific purpose behind it. You might say, for example, that you purposely left the front light on because you’d be returning after dark. If intentionally works in the sentence, choose purposely rather than purposefully.

Purposefully means full of purpose and describes the manner in which the subject does something. For example, if you have something important to say, you might stride purposefully to the podium.

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