Easily Confused Words: Emanate vs. Imminent

Emanate and Imminent 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 also tries to anticipate what word you want based on the first few letters. But sharing letters doesn’t mean related words, and autocorrect’s suggestions are more hysterical than apt.

Emanate is a verb. It describes energy that flows out, a glow that’s given off, something brilliant and amazing being released.

Imminent is an adjective. Imminent means destined to happen, or inevitable. When an athlete or performer pushed themselves to their limits, awards seem imminent.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Eamon, a revered choreographer on Broadway, demanded long rehearsals for months leading up to his shows. The payoff came opening night: all the performers emanated strength and grace in their movements. Critics were wowed, and the show’s likelihood for multiple award nominations seemed imminent.

This post relates to another post: Easily Confused Words: Eminent vs. Imminent.


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