Specious vs Spurious with mind trick

Specious vs Spurious
If you think specious and spurious are synonymous, you are wrong.
Specious (Adj.)
  • something that is specious seems to exist or be true, but is not real or true
  • appearing to be true but actually false
  • having a false look of truth or genuineness
The word comes from Latin speciosus meaning fair, from specere meaning to look.
Specious in sentence:
  1. We saw a specious shadow of tiger, but later we found a cat there.
  2. He justified his actions with specious reasoning.

Spurious (Adj)
  • not genuine or authentic although seeming to be genuine
  • based on false ideas or ways of thinking
Spurious comes from Latin spurius meaning 'false'.
Spurious in sentence:
  1. Custom officers found spurious gems.
  2. He was arrested on spurious corruption charges.

Earlier specious is used to mean "pleasing in appearance" and "showy". Following the broadened use of "showy," specious also began to be used to indicate superficial or deceptive attractiveness. This sense was applied to both physical things, such as beauty, and non-corporal subjects, such as arguments or reasonings. (Merriam-Webster)

With the help this image, we can better understand the meaning of specious. The image of dog looks like the same as girl's image, at first sight you may mislead.You can say this is specious image of dog. 

Spurious is used for something that is illegal like spurious gold item, spurious claim, spurious currency, etc. Spurious things are not original but fake and artificial of original. 
A spurious thing can cheat you like spurious currency, spurious rice, spurious gold item, etc whereas as a specious thing cannot cheat you, it may only mislead you to some extent.

You can easily differentiate between specious and original things, but it becomes very difficult to differentiate between spurious and original things.
original rice and spurious rice
original eggs and spurious eggs

Mind trick:
How can you get the right word ?
Keep in mind the word "pure" whenever you confused between specious and spurious. Now search the word "pure" inside specious and spurious. Here, we have the word spurious that contains the word "pure". Now set the logic: Pure means not false, clear and legal, while spurious is opposite of pure; it means something illegal or false. With the word "pure", you can easily guess that spurious is something that is not pure, while specious means seem to be real, or true, but it's not; specious has nothing to do with pureness.

In a nutshell
Specious means misleading and deceptive, whereas Spurious means artificial, false, counterfeit, duplicate, copy, etc.

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