‘Comprised’ and ‘composed’ have related meanings but they’re NOT interchangeable. Here’s an INCORRECT sentence construction I see often:
‘The deck was comprised of fifty-two cards.’
The writer here has confused the word ‘comprised’ with ‘composed’.
The following two sentences are both CORRECT:
‘The deck was composed of fifty-two cards.’
‘The deck comprised fifty-two cards.’
Here’s a tip to help you get it right: replace the word ‘comprised’ with ‘included’. Does it make sense? If so, you’re on the right track.
About this blog
Through my experience as an editor, a reader and a book reviewer, I’ve noticed that some writing faults keep just popping up again and again. As an author, I’m especially aware of those writing crimes that I’m frequently tempted to commit myself. This series of brief tips addresses the common writing problems that I’ve encountered. Following them will help make your writing clear, accurate and stylish.