Post 1001: Thank you

Well I’ve reached post 1001 for Easily Confused Words. My to-do list isn’t over, but I wanted to acknowledge another milestone for this blog series. So I am taking a moment to say:

Thank you so much for reading.

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Photo from Pexels.

When I initially started blogging here, I started with current events and how I felt about them. I quickly learned that, as good as it feels to write, that’s not really captivating, “come back for more” reading. The viewing stats affirmed that.

So I tried to find a way to square my interests and background with something that would be useful, engaging, and entertaining. I’ve always been interested in words and language. I studied advertising, journalism, and graphic design in school. I’ve worked in local food journalism and technical writing.

Initially “Easily Confused Words” posts involved cheesy puns on twitter, and up to four words.

Along the way:

  • I scrapped the cheesy humor
  • I realized two word comparisons would be better. Keep it simple.
  • On rare occasions where homophones and homographs align, up to three words in a post, but no more than that.
  • Posts that refer to the same words, or other similar words, needed links at the bottom to those posts.

And the stories were to be an example of the two words in action. It was a challenge, and a way to write at least one piece of “short, spontaneous fiction” several days a week. No matter what your professional tasking is at any given time, something that is a creative diversion is fun to just go with, or take for a drive.

 

 

 

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Easily Confused Words: Connive vs. Convivial

Connive and convivial 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.

Connive (pronounced “kuh-NEYE-vv”; rhymes with survive, alive, contrive, chive) is a  verb, it means to secretly or covertly plan bad things for others one doesn’t like.

Convivial (pronounced “”kuhn-VIH-VEE-uhl”) is an adjective. It describes someone who is friendly, easy to get along with, a people person.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Conroy was a convivial person, so it was hard to adapt to a more cutthroat environment of a corporation in the big city. He felt he witnessed several attempts by seasoned coworkers to connive newer, unsuspecting hires. It was exhausting to go to work there, but there were just too many bills to afford to quit.

Easily Confused Words: Where vs. Wear

Where and wear are easily confused words. They are also homophones; this means they sound the same, but are spelled differently, and mean different things.

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.

Where (pronounced “whair”) is an adverb. It is a word indication position or location, and in inquiries, asking about location or position. The location isn’t always literal, it can be hypothetical.

For example:

  • Where is the ketchup? I can’t find it in the cupboard.
  • I thought about writing a story where the princess rescues others instead of the traditional “damsel in distress”
  • Diana Ross famously sang “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?” in the 1975 film Mahogany.

Wear (pronounced “”whair”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it can mean to adorn clothes, accessories or weaponry on one’s body. In a figurative sense, it can refer to facial expressions
    • Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang”: “…Working on the highways and byways and wearing, wearing a frown”
    • Petula Clarke, “I Know A Place”: “Put on your best and wear a smile…”
  • As a verb, it can mean to fatigue or stress someone.
  • As a noun, “wear” can refer to types of clothing or accessories.

The following story uses both words correctly:

“Where is the suit I use for my interviews?” asked Wanda, “I need to wear it today.”

“I”m not sure. It might be at the cleaners,” said her assistant. 

“Are you kidding me? That was your primary tasking yesterday, Walda!”

Easily Confused Words: Droop vs. Drupe

Droop and drupe are easily confused words. They are also homophones, meaning they sound the same, but are spelled differently and mean different things.

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.

Droop (pronounced “dr-oop”) is verb.

  • It can mean to sag, or being in a state of deterioration.
  • It can mean to let fall from fatigue, feeling defeated, or both.

Drupe (pronounced “dr-oop”) is a plant biology word. It classifies fruits known for having a single, woody-shelled seed in the center. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, mangoes, cherries, and olives are all drupes.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Drusylla was very self-conscious about showing signs of premature aging. She didn’t want to see her skin droop, especially her face. So she drank lots of water, exercised, and ate lots of fruit. Her favorites were drupes, like nectarines and mangoes. 

This post relates to other posts: Easily Confused Words: Drupal vs. Drupe, Easily Confused Words: Drupe vs. Dupe

Easily Confused Words: Otto vs. Auto

Otto and auto 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.

Otto (pronounced “aw-toe”) is a masculine German name. It is means “wealthy.”

Auto (pronounced “aw-toe”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it is a shortened form of automobile, another way to say car.
  • As an adjective, it is a shortened form of “automatic.” In classified car sale ads, on appliances, and on electrical consoles in lieu of the whole word. It’s usually due to space limitations or simple convenience.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Otto really enjoyed building vintage auto kits with his father, Hans. Everyone in the family assumed he would study mechanics or auto repair for a career. It really surprised everyone when he decided to pursue otolaryngology–being an ENT doctor–instead.

 

Easily Confused Words: Siren vs. Sire

Siren and sire 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.

Siren (pronounced “s-EYE-rihn”) is a noun.

  • It can mean the song of a beautiful feminine creatures that summoned sailors to their deaths in Greek mythology.
  • It can mean the wailing alarm used by fire, police, and EMS vehicles to clear traffic as they speed to their destination.

Sire (pronounced “”s-EYE-uhr”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means to provide the sperm for offspring.
  • As a noun, it can mean a formal means of address for a monarch.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Sometimes when an ambulance drove by, its siren took Sy back to his experiences as a ambulance driver in the War. It was so hard to recall young faces of men wounded or dying on the battlefield. So many lives cut short. 

Meanwhile, he had served, come home, and went to college. He had a successful career. Sired 5 children. Tried to be a good man. Given how many people he saw not get these opportunities, he felt very lucky, and at times, undeserving. What was the master plan? Did one even exist? 

Easily Confused Words: Calibrachoa vs. Chupacabra

Calibrachoa and chupcabra 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.

Calibrachoa (pronounced “kal-lee-bruh-koh-uh”)  is a noun. It is a type of bedding plant more commonly called “million bells.” Its blossoms are trumpet-shaped, and resemble miniature petunias.

Chupacabra (pronounced “choo-puh-kawb-ruh”) is a Spanish noun. It means a supernatural creature known for attacking livestock, wild animals, and people. It is reported to be a native of North and South America.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Kallie forgot to water the plants today. So she stepped outside after dark to do it. She watered the knockout roses, the mexican petunias, the calibrachoas, the sunflowers, and the crepe myrtles. She was putting up the hose when she heard a lot screeching cry.

She dropped the hose and ran inside. She wasn’t sure what would make that noise, but she didn’t want to find out. She was only housesitting for a few weeks and really didn’t know this area. Perhaps it was a coyote, or a vampire bat. Or maybe, it was the notorious chupacabra.