Easily Confused Words: Farmer vs. Pharma

Farmer and Pharma are easily confused words.  Spell-check in most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up among these three words. As long as it’s a word and it is spelled correctly, spell-check keeps on scanning the document.

Farmer is a noun. It means a man or woman who’s primary occupation is growing plants for food or animal feed on several plots of land, and/or raising animals as well. The animals either provide a food or drink byproduct, are raised for food themselves, or  help perform work around the farm.

Pharma is a noun, again, it’s slang. Its a nickname for the large pharmaceutical (controlled substances, prescription drugs) industry of the US. To obtain prescription drugs in the US, you have to consult a pharmacist to dispense that medication. A pharmacist works in a drugstore chain, their own shop, or the pharmacy department of a grocery store. Like a lot of medical terms, “pharma” is a prefix with classic Greek & Latin roots.

The following sentence uses both words correctly:

The modern organic food movement encourages consumers to trust their farmer, instead of Big Pharma.


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