Of the two, “complement” is closer to in meaning to its Latin root. Remember, the sense of this word is one of enhancing or completing, not of praising.
Also, it takes two to complement. One thing must complement another thing, when being used as a verb.
Notice, objects complement other objects in these sentences. It’s rare for a person to “complement” something or someone.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE
“Complement” and “compliment” are easy to confuse. In fact, they come from the same Latin word, “complementum” which means “something that completes.” However, “complement” came to its meaning through English, while “compliment” evolved through Spanish, Italian, and French use before coming into English.
“Compliment” can be used as a noun or a verb to mean “an expression of praise.” Think of a compliment as a gift or a present. It’s simply saying something is good in some way.
George Orwell thought a good sentence means trimming as many words as possible, Virginia Woolf found power in verbs, and Baldwin desired 'a sentence as clean as a bone.'
We can learn from celebrated writers that a good sentence is plain, undecorated and visible. It gets its power from the tension between the ease of its phrasing and the surprise of its thought. Each added word reduces alternatives and narrows the reader's expectations. But up to the last word, the writer can throw a curveball.
Be polite. The person who gets your letter will seldom be the one who wronged you. And is unlikely to pass it on to the desired recipient if you are insulting and raging.
Make plain how you’ve been inconvenienced, then propose what’ll seem to your correspondent a reasonable and proportionate redress that’s within their power to make. And be sure to phrase your redress as a request instead of a demand.
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