incidence vs incidents vs instances : Common Errors in English

About incidence vs incidents vs instances

These three overlap in meaning just enough to confuse a lot of people. Few of us have a need for “incidence,” which most often refers to degree or extent of the occurrence of something: “The incidence of measles in Whitman County has dropped markedly since the vaccine has been provided free.” “Incidents,” which is pronounced identically, is merely the plural of “incident,” meaning “occurrences”: “Police reported damage to three different outhouses in separate incidents last Halloween”. Instances (not “incidences”) are examples: “Semicolons are not required in the first three instances given in your query.” Incidents can be used as instances only if someone is using them as examples.

incidence Meaning(s)

  • (n) the relative frequency of occurrence of something
  • (n) the striking of a light beam on a surface

incidence in News

  1. Franks: 'Incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low'

    "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," says the Arizona Republican.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Politico

  2. Trent Franks: 'The Incidence Of Rape Resulting In Pregnancy Are Very Low'

    During a House Judiciary hearing on his abortion bill Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said that he opposes an exemption for rape victims because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregancy are very low."
    on June 12, 2013 Source: The Huffington Post

  3. Ariz. congressman: 'The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low'

    PHOENIX -- Arizona Congressman Trent Franks, who is pushing for a bill to further limit abortions, claimed Wednesday that women who are raped rarely get pregnant. "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," The Washington Post reported Franks saying during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. The Arizona Republican continued: "Before, when my friends on the left side of ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: KTVK 3TV Phoenix

incidents in News

  1. Arrests, incidents for Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Here is a look at the incidents that were reported to the Cullman City Police Department for Tuesday:  
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Cullman Times

  2. Arrests, incidents reports for June 8-10, 2013

    Here is a look at the incidents that were reported to the Cullman City Police Department for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday:  
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Cullman Times

  3. Arrests, incidents reports for June 7-9, 2013

    Arrests/incidents reports from the Cullman City Police Departments were not readily available and will be included with future reports.  
    on June 10, 2013 Source: Cullman Times

instances in News

  1. Moving right along: Furyk leaves disappointments of 2012 season in the past

    One "expert" on the Golf Channel said he was three swings away from being the PGA Tour's Player of the Year.Instead, 2012 — in a handful of instances — became a season Jim Furyk couldn't wait to forget.It started last June at Olympic Club in San Francisco, where Furyk — tied for th...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Lancaster Online

  2. Quad-City metro area spared the worst of the storms

    The Quad-City metro area was spared some of the more severe storms that struck to the north and east, in some instances producing heavy rains, hail and even a couple of tornadoes.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Quad-City Times

  3. Massachusetts Health Quality Partners Helps Physicians and Patients Talk About Health Care Decisions

    Massachusetts Health Quality Partners has been awarded a two-year grant from the ABIM Foundation to advance the organization’s Choosing Wisely® campaign. The goal of this effort is to encourage physicians and patients to discuss medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances cause harm.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance

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