Easily Confused Words: Moire vs. Moray vs. Moré

Moiré and Moray are homophones and easily confused words. The spell-check of 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.

Moiré is an adjective. It describes a wave illusion pattern in silk, rayon, or taffeta fabric. In printing, the dots that make up photos can also have a moire pattern, the photo requires correction when this happens.

Moré is a noun. It means rules and guidelines accepted by a group, like a code of behavior. It is also pronounced “mores” without the final accent on the “e.”

Moray is a noun. It refers to a large species of eel.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Morley was creating designs for his fall couture collection, which included lots of fabrics with Moiré and swirling patterns. For contrast, the models would wear Moray eel skin boots.

But wait, he thought, would that offend the morés of the current fashion world?


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