Easily Confused Words: Lettice vs. Lettuce

Lettice and lettuce are easily confused words.

Lettice (pronounced “luh-teece;” rhymes with Bernice and Maurice) is an English version of the female Latin name Letitia (pronounced “luh-tee-shuh;” also spelled Laetitia/Letticia) Laetitia is the Roman goddess of joy and celebrations.

Famous Lettices:

  • Lettice Bryan, American writer of Kentucky Housewife: Containing Nearly Thirteen Hundred Full Receipts, an 1839 cookbook.
    • A funny thing in the US is that old recipe books are sometimes called “receipt books,” and this one is no exception. In more recent times, these words diverged: a receipt is a paper proof a purchase was made, and a recipe is strictly for food preparation. In slang, when someone says I’ve brought/got receipts, they mean they have evidence or proof for their claims.]
  • Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex during the reign of Elizabeth I.
  • A list of other famous Lettices appears here.

Lettuce (pronounced “let-uss”) is a noun. It is a species of leafy vegetable related to the daisy plant. It grows close to the ground, forming a head from many layers of leaves. Most US lettuce is grown in central California in the Salinas Valley. Click the link to watch a short video about how lettuce is grown, cut, and prepared for market.

Varieties include:

  • Iceberg, a light green variety, its leaves have curly, serrated edges. It grows on round heads. It might be the most well-known lettuce in the US. It is served on hamburgers, sandwiches, and in salads. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Romaine: is medium green leaves grow on an oval-shaped head. It has a slight bitter taste. Romaine is used for Caesar salads, wraps, sandwiches, much like iceberg. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Endive: This plant is related to chicory. It is pale yellowish green and grows on small, elongated head. Its taste is very bitter. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Bibb aka Butter: This variety grows on small heads, but its color is a medium green with rounded edges. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Summer Crisp/Batavia/French crisp: This grows on a short, very curly head. Its leaves are medium green. It is sweet, not bitter like Romaine. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Leaf: This looks like Romaine but is a lighter green, it grows on a fluffier, elongated head. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.

If you eat a mixed greens salad or side dish, it may also include:

  • Dandelion: These are the leaves from organically grown dandelion flowers. Dandelion is a wildflower. The leaves are an elongated oval with points along the edges. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Arugula: A medium green plant with long oval-shaped leaves with cup shaped holes along the edges. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Kale: A dark green plant with very curly edged leaves. Kale has been popular for smoothies in recent years. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Swiss chard: This plant grows with leaves extending from a central stalk. The stalks of these are deep fuchsia pink, and the leaves are a deep green.
  • Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Collards: This plant grows with leaves extending from a central stalk.The stalks of these are white, and the leaves are a very deep green, like an evergreen tree. Collards are very tough and bitter, and are best eaten after cooked on a stovetop. They are very popular in US Southern cuisine, sometimes flavored with ham or meat juices. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Mustard Greens: These are the leaves from a mustard plant. They have a slight peppery taste to them. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Turnip Greens: These are the leaves from the top of a turnip vegetable, which grows underground. They have curvy, serrated edges. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.
  • Brussel sprouts: These look like small cabbages growing on a tall stalk. They can be eaten whole by steaming, but sometimes they are peeled into individual leaves for a salad. Click the link to see a picture and learn more about the plant.

If you live in the US and are interesting in growing your own food, your state likely has a website for its agriculture and gardening division. This division is a great resource about soil, soil condition, plant diseases, weather, pests, and other issues related to growing plants where you live.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Lettice didn’t know what she was going to do to keep rabbits out of her vegetable patch. They had gnawed all her lettuce heads to bits. All her carrots were uprooted. It was a disaster.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 8, 2021.

Easily Confused Words: Daffodil vs. Daphne

Daffodil and Daphne are easily confused words. They both feature “fuh” sounds, but are spelled differently.

Daffodil (pronounced “daff-uh-dihll”) is a noun. It means a flowering plant that grows from a bulb in early spring. Daffodils are in the Narcissus genus. This genus has 14,000 varieties.

  • Daffodils are a bright, richly saturated yellow. They have a cylindrical trumpet (aka corona) with a curly edge, surrounded by 6 flat petals. Its leaves are thick, flat blades. Cultivation has led to more color varieties in the trumpet (corona), the petals, or both. These colors include deep orange, pale peach, apricot, coral, white, creamy white, and pink. Cultivation has also created flowers with multiple layers of petals and/or trumpet, slender and spikier petals, much larger trumpets, etc.
  • Jonquils (“zyawn-kwihlz”), also in this genus, have multiple flowerheads to a stalk, rounded petals, and a noticeable fragrance. Its leaves and stalk are tubular, instead of flat blades. They tend to grow in warmer climates.
  • Narcissus tazetta papyraceous has a shorter, wider trumpet (corona.) They are also called paperwhites.
  • On social media and in gardening catalogs, the words daffodil, jonquil and narcissus are often used interchangeably.

In culture:

  • The daffodil is the flower of Wales, a country on the western coast of the British Isles. The country’s saint is St. David, and his day is March 1. So if you see a lot of daffodils and red dragons that day, this is why.
  • Narcissus grows near water. Its name comes from a Greek god who was fascinated by his own reflection. This is the same word that narcissism, in psychology, comes from.
  • In Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Amanda Wingfield, an abandoned mother, fondly remembers receiving bouquets of jonquils and having 17 boys visiting her as a teenager.

Daphne (pronounced “daff-nee”) is a female first name from Greek meaning “laurel tree” of “bay tree.”

  • In Greek mythology, it is the name of a nymph pursued by the god Phoebus (Apollo.) Daphne didn’t want to accept Apollo’s affections. So she asks Peneus, the river god and her father, to transform her into something else: it was a laurel tree. Apollo fashioned a wreath from the tree’s branches to honor her.
    • Laurel wreaths, or objects meant to imitate them, have been used to award performance in sports, the military, and the arts in the West for ages since.
    • Apollo’s pursuit and Daphne’s transformation has been portrayed in art, like painting and sculpture.

In pop culture:

  • It was the first name of a redheaded, a stylish teenager in the Clue Crew on Scooby Doo, a US cartoon of the late 1960s.
  • It was the first name of a physical therapist on the US sitcom Frasier, a spin-off of Cheers.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Darius knew his Aunt Daphne had been sad since her husband, Uncle Thad, died suddenly. It had been a month ago now. He brought her a bouquet of daffodils because he remembered they were her favorite, and his mother said she wouldn’t miss a handful of her garden flowers. Aunt Daphne was delighted to have company. She made some hot tea and brought out some brownies.

“Thad and I never got to go to the Grand Canyon.”

“Well we should do that. I think he’d want you to be happy, Aunt Daph.”

Easily Confused Words: Paws vs. Pause

Paws and pause are easily confused words. They are also homophones, meaning words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and mean different things. Homophones are a type of homonym, learn more here.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Paws (pronounced “pawz;” rhymes with laws, caws) has multiple meanings.

  • It is the plural form of the noun “paw.” A paw is the multi-toed foot of a furry, multi-legged mammal, like a dog, cat, lion, wolf, otter, weasel, etc. Most animals have more than one leg, so the feet on these legs are collectively called “paws.”
  • As a verb, it is the “it” form: I paw, you paw, he/she/it paws, we paw, they paw. To paw at something is a sweeping or waving touch. For example, a cat that refuses to be ignored during its owner’s videochat meeting will paw at his/her hands or face. They want to be petted or played with, now.
  • In slang:
    • if someone tells someone else “get his/her paws off” something, it means the other person or people shouldn’t touch that thing. People obviously don’t have paws, so there’s an insinuation they are clumsy, have unwashed hands, he/she can’t take care with a given thing.
    • if someone says “wait til I get my paws on ___,” he/she is upset and going to have an intense confrontation with that person.

Pause (pronounced “pawz;” rhymes with cause) has multiple meanings.

As a noun:

  • It can mean observing a period of silence when reading something aloud, reciting something, or giving a speech.
  • It can mean a period of reflection or reconsideration, as in the phrase, “his insensitive tweets gave me pause and I ended up offering the job to my second choice candidate. That person has performed splendidly.”
  • On a recording or playing device (tape recorder, CD player, vinyl player) it is a button that stops recording or playing. Pause is represented by two hash marks: “
  • On a modern dishwasher or clothes washer, the start button often includes a pause feature. The button has a start/pause ⏯ (right pointing arrow & two hashmarks) symbols on the button. If a user forgot to load an item, they can hit this start/pause button. The washing stops, in some cases the door unlocks. The user can add the new item, close the door, and resume the washing by pressing the start/pause button again.
  • With a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa, a user can tell it to pause reading aloud or music.

As a verb:

  • it means stopping or hesitating during speaking or other activity.
  • it can mean to hit a button to freeze video or audio footage. For example, if video or audio is being presented at a court hearing or in government proceedings, the video may be paused at points where an attorney, a government representative or Senator wants to comment on what’s being presented and why it may/may not be problematic.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Pauline couldn’t figure out what happened to her presentation, it was frozen. It turned out the cat’s paws had hit the keyboard, causing it to pause the screen.

Easily Confused Words: Bandy vs. Brandy

Bandy and brandy are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Bandy (pronounced “ban-dee”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means to exchange, swap, throw around, or circulate. This can be literal objects or something more abstract, like words or ideas.
  • As an adjective, it describes something with an awkward bend or contortion to it, like a leg deformity.
  • As a noun, it can mean an old-fashioned winter sport that resembles modern ice hockey. It uses a ball instead of a puck. Traditionally played in Northern European countries, England, and Russia, today the World Bandy Federation has members on five of the world’s seven continents.

Brandy (pronounced “bran-dee”) has multiple meanings.

As a noun:

  • It is a female first name from the Dutch language meaning “burnt wine.” It can also be spelled Brandi, Brandee, Brandie, Brandey
    • In pop culture:
      • Brandi Carlile, a US country singer & songwriter. See other famous people with this name here and historic figures here.
      • Brandy You’re A Fine Girl” was a US 1970s pop song by Looking Glass
  • It can also be a surname.
  • In alcoholic beverages, it means a liquor created from wine or fermented fruit juice.
    • A Brandy Alexander cocktail features brandy mixed with creme de cacao and cream

As a verb:

  • it means to preserve food in brandy, like brandied cherries
  • it means to use brandy in the preparation of cooked foods, like a side dish of brandied carrots.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Brandi was invited to play bandy on the lake rink with the neighborhood kids, but she declined. Instead, she wanted to go to the swap meet to sell apple and pear brandy and Christmas cookies she’d made with her Dad.

Easily Confused Words: Patty’s vs. Paddy’s

Patty’s and Paddy’s are easily confused words. Both are possessive, meaning they are words used when identifying something belonging to a specific person.

Patty’s is the possessive form of the female first name Patty. Patty is often a shortened for Patricia, and Patricia is the female equivalent of Patrick. Here are some examples of “Patty’s” in a sentence:

  • I can’t find my science book. I must have left it at Patty’s house.
  • The most popular bar in our town is Patty’s Place on Main.
  • Susan said she saw Mary flirting with Patty’s boyfriend.
  • We went with our neighbor’s business, Patty’s Bakery for the 75th anniversary cake. It was perfect.
  • Whose fault is it that no one cleaned up after the dance? Patty’s. It was her committee.

Paddy’s is the possessive form of Pádraig (pronounced “Paw-drihg,” sometimes spelled Padraic, Padhraic), a male first name in the Irish language. To hear it, go to the linked video.

This name is derived from Latin, meaning “of the patrician class.” The patrician class were wealthy, upper class people in the Roman Empire.

  • Here is a list of famous Padraigs.
  • March 17 is the feast day of maybe the most famous Padraig of all, St. Padraig. According to Christian legend, Padraig spread Christianity in Ireland in the 5th century. He likened the Holy Trinity to the shamrock, a native plant with three equally-sized leaves on each stem. Also according to legend, he drove the snakes out of Ireland (scientists attribute it more to a cold climate; Iceland, Greenland, New Zealand, Antarctica, and the US state of Hawaii also have no native snake species.)

In the US, we call this saint St. Patrick. But you wouldn’t call a Patrick “Patty” for short, and it’s not appropriate to call this holiday St. Patty’s Day, when it should be “St. Paddy’s Day.” For more information see this link, and another here.

Boston, Massachusetts (in the Northeast), Savannah Georgia (in the South), and Chicago, Illinois (in the Midwest) are three US cities famous for their St. Patricks Day festivities in non-pandemic years. Millions of Irish came to the United States and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially during the Famine in the 1840s.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Patty’s Pub didn’t have its usual block party festivities this year for St. Paddy’s Day. Instead, in the parking lot there was an inflatable screen showing livestreams of local bands playing from their backyards. Reuben sandwiches, rachel sandwiches, chips, potato skins, curry hot wings were sold to-go out of a food truck.

This post relates to another post: Easily Confused Words: Patties vs. Paddies.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MARCH 17, 2021.

Easily Confused Words: Rudbeckia vs. Rebecca

Rudbeckia and Rebecca are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Rudbeckia (pronounced “rood-beck-ee-uh”) is a noun. It means a type of coneflower. The petals are deep yellow or orange-red, and the center is brown. Sometimes this plant is called black-eyed-susan. It is related to echinacea, which looks similar, but has pinkish purple petals. Rudbeckias grow abundantly in hot, sunny climates.

Rebecca (pronounced “”ruh-BECK-uh;” also spelled Rebekah) is a female first name meaning “to tie firmly” or “beautifully ensnarling.” Becca, Becky, Bex, and Reba are shortened forms of this name.

  • In religion, Rebecca was the wife of Isaac, mother of Esau and Jacob mentioned in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, and the Torah in Judaism and Islam.
  • in literature:
    • Rebecca, a Daphne Du Maurier novel made into a film in 1940 and 2020, with miniseries versions made in 1997 and 2002. Rebecca is a deceased first wife of the heroine’s husband, she is a pivotal character in the book whose presence and influence is felt.
    • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, a 1903 novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin made into films in 1917, 1932 and 1938. This story takes place in Maine, the most northeasterly state in the US. Rebecca is a young girl sent to live with her aunts.
    • Rebecca in Ivanhoe, an 1819 novel (in three parts) by Sir Walter Scott. This novel takes place in 12th century England.
  • Rebeccas on TV: Rebecca Howe was a lead character on the 1980s US TV show Cheers.
  • In real life:
    • In 2011, teenage Youtuber and singer Rebecca Black released “Friday.”
    • Rebecca Romijn, American actress and model, played Mystique in the earlier X-Men movies of the early 2000s. (Jennifer Lawrence plays the younger Mystique in prequel X-Men movies.)
    • See more famous Rebeccas here.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Rebecca Rosen surprised the town as mayor when her first order of business was upgrading the rundown park in the middle of town. She had a landscape crew plant flowering trees, rudbeckias, bee balm, and milkweed, all donated from residents’ gardens. The gazebo that was covered in graffiti was cleaned off and repainted by neighborhood scouts.

Easily Confused Words: Patties vs. Paddies

Patties and Paddies are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Patties (pronounced “PATT-eez”) is the plural (meaning more than 1) form of the noun patty. A patty is a flattened ball, usually a food item, but not always.

For example:

  • A hamburger patty is a flattened disc of ground beef. The flattening makes it easier to grill on both sides, then serve on a bun or bread slice for eating. At the grocery store you can buy a pack of meat to shape yourself, or pre-molded patties, which are slightly more expensive.
  • The US candy York Peppermint Patties are discs of white peppermint-flavored creme covered in dark chocolate coating. Mints are often consumed after dinner to help breath smell better and to ease digestion.
  • Peanut Butter Patties are made by ABC Bakery for the US Girl Scouts. They are circular shortbread cookies with a dollop of peanut butter placed on top, then coated in milk chocolate (Little Brownie Bakers, the other company that produces Girl Scout cookies, calls their version Tagalongs.)

What about non-food items? Cow patties are another name for cow dung or cow chips. In the midwestern and western US, at county and state fairs, there are contests to see who can throw dried cow patties the furthest distance. There is also a bingo game involving cow patties. A large plot of land is divided into a grid. Players buy a square. A cow is then led out onto the field, and if it deposits a patty into a player’s square, that player win money and/or prizes.

Paddies (pronounced “PAD-eez”) is the plural (meaning more than 1) form of the noun paddy. Paddy has multiple meanings.

  • In agriculture, it can mean a flooded field where rice in grown. This video from the UK shows how it is grown. Rice is a grain grown mostly in Asia. Its grains are picked, dried, threshed, and bagged for sale. White varieties are milled before bagging, brown varieties are not.
    • Rice is grown worldwide on every continent but Antarctica. (But there are greenhouses growing vegetables in Antarctica now, so maybe it could happen in this century.)
    • It was also brought to the southern United States in the late 1600s. Today (2021), Arkansas is the US state that grows the most rice. Rice is also grown in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and California. [One heirloom variety, Carolina Gold, is grown in South Carolina. Another, Pecan wild rice, is grown in Louisiana.]

The following story uses both words correctly:

It had been a long day working in the rice paddies, harvesting plants. Everyone was far too tired to think about going out and picking up food. Thankfully, Pham arrived with a small tabletop grill and a cooler stocked with pre-grilled vegan burger patties, chicken, some baguettes, and hot pickled vegetables to make sandwiches. Not a single one was left over.

How about another?

People were surprised that Preston was so skilled with throwing the shotput and discus. What they didn’t realize he’d been practicing with dried cow patties on his family’s Arkansas farm for years. He also had no trouble with mud runs and triathalon type contests after helping out at rice paddies in town to make extra money.

This post relates to another post: Easily Confused Words: Patty’s vs. Paddy’s

Easily Confused Words: Interjection vs. Injection

Interjection and injection are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Interjection (IHN-tuhr-JECK-shun) is a grammar term. It means words, usually indicating shock, excitement, or both, about an event or occurrence. WOW! GOSH! YIKES! HOLY COW! GOLLY GEE! are examples of interjections.

Injection (pronounced “ihn-JECK-shun”) is a noun with multiple meanings.

  • In epidemiology, It can mean a vaccine or inoculation given to prevent contracting a disease.
  • In dermatology, it can mean a treatment for the skin meant to keep it wrinkle free or more full and youthful looking.
    • Collagen injection makes lips appear fuller.
    • Botox paralyzes the muscles to prevent them from forming wrinkles with repeated furrowing.
  • in cooking and food preparation, it can mean using a meat injection tool to get marinade directly into meat for better flavor.
  • in automobiles, a fuel injection system allows for more efficient use of fuel in a car’s engine. Learn more here.
  • in illegal drugs, used needles can be seen in litter on the streets.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Englebert was being taken for her first shots. It sounded scary, like a bug you were letting bite you for some reason. The needle looked scary. The table he was sitting on was ice cold. Why were they doing this?

Suddenly his mom started singing and the physician’s assistant was putting on a hand puppet show to get his attention. He smiled. He started softly singing along. “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and

OUUUCCCCH!” With that interjection, the proverbial bus had come to a screeching halt.

The nurse had stuck the needle in his arm for the vaccine injection. She had thought he was fully distracted. But it had hurt worse than he expected. He looked up at her mournfully and moved away.

“Engie, I’m sorry, but there’s actually one more shot.”

“No. No way.”

“What if, there’s a hard candy or bubble gum in it for you? And you can have that up front.”

That made it sound more doable.

Easily Confused Words: Tycoon vs. Typhoon

Tycoon and typhoon are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Tycoon (pronounced “tie-koon”) means a wealthy man or woman in a particular industry. This word comes from taikun in the Japanese language; a word to describe a shogun, a military dictator of Japan during the years 1185-1868.

In US History, Andrew Carnegie (steel), John D. Rockefeller (oil), Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (computers), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) are all examples of tycoons. Usually these people are rich and phenomenally successful in a particular industry.

Typhoon (pronounced “tie-foon”) is a noun. It comes from a Chinese word meaning “great wind.”

A typhoon is a cyclone storm of high winds, waves, and lots of rain coming in from the ocean. Typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones are all the same kind of storm, but a different word is used in different parts of the globe. This can help clue in who will likely be affected by a particular storm.

  • Typhoons occur in the northwest Pacific and are most likely to hit countries on the eastern coasts of Asia, or islands off these coasts. See a list of the 10 worst typhoons here.
  • Cyclones occur in the Southern Pacific. [In an aboriginal language of Australia, they are also called willy-willys.]
  • Hurricanes occur in the North Atlantic, north central Pacific, or north east Pacific. This comes from a Taino (indigenous Arawak) word, Huricán/Hurakan. This storm was sent by Guabancex (gwan-bahn-she), goddess of natural disasters, lady of the wind. She is pictured as a face with two arms swirling in different directions. [For people alive hundreds of years before radar or drones, this is a remarkable depiction.] Check out a Taino Museum in Haiti at the link.
  • In the US Southern dialect, hurricane sound like “huhrr-kuhn”

The following story uses both words correctly:

After Typhoon Trami devastated the coastal islands, an oil tycoon from overseas came to town. He was offering millions to collectively buy their properties. Some, wearied by a particularly fierce storm season, were tempted to take the money so they could move inland. Others wished to stay; they were deeply concerned that the tycoon’s ambitions for oil exploration, a resort, or amusements would devastate the historic fishermans’ village they had existed for hundreds of years. In the end, the villagers who would wanted to stay pool their money, offering to buy out the properties of those who wished to move.

Easily Confused Words: Apt. vs. Apt

Apt. and apt are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Apt (pronounced “app-t;” rhymes with rapt) is an adjective. It describes activities or responses a speaker, or someone they are talking about, is likely to make.

For example:

  • Abby is apt to be annoyed that we’re stopping by so late.
  • The post office is apt to return your letter if it doesn’t have sufficient postage for its weight. Cards decorated with beads, elastic ribbon, or other embellishments require extra postage, and often they say so on the envelope.
  • I’m starving. I’m apt to pitch a fit if my Roadrunner delivery doesn’t get here soon.

Apt. (pronounced “uh-part-mihnt”) is an abbreviation for “apartment,” a rented dwelling in a building featuring bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen area, and a den or living room. Some have exterior balconies. Usually higher-priced, new properties feature private balconies versus shared patios, landings, or balconies.

In the US, if a resident owns his/her apartment, it’s usually called a condominium, or condo, as a shortened term.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Abigail’s daughter Alysen had just moved out on her own. She was still learning things about living independently. Abigail reminded her, “You’re apt to lose your apartment if you don’t pay your rent on time.”

“I know, I know. Can I pay by credit card?”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No. Why not?”

“You have to pay by check or cash, in my experience. Don’t forget to put your apt. number on your check. If you don’t they might try to claim you didn’t pay rent. Document everything to avoid drama and not get ripped off.