Quick, which one? Imminent vs. eminent

Oh what a difference two letters make! Such is the case with imminent vs. eminent.

Eminent refers to a distinguished person, as in The eminent explorer spoke to members of the Los Angeles Geographical Society.

Imminent means about to happen and often implies something that is bad, as in One New York City official said bankruptcy was imminent.

Imagine if the spellings in the above two sentences were reversed. An “imminent explorer” wouldn’t make sense, and a city declaring bankruptcy certainly isn’t distinguished!


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.