Easily Confused Words: Paillette vs. Palette

Paillette and palette 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 suggests what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions couldn’t be more off base and produces humorous results.

Paillette is a large plastic disk covered in a metallic sheen, it typically has a tiny hole close to one edge. This hole allows thousands of paillettes to be sewn on a dress or costume, but yet move with the wearer.

Palette is a noun. It means the piece of plastic, glass, or wood that a painter uses to hold their colors and mix their colors together. Palettes typically have a hole in them so the artist can hold it with just their thumb in the hole and balanced on their hand.

The following sentence uses both words correctly:

Paloma loved sketching evening gowns and then sewing them into the real thing, taking her more sparkling creations from palette and palliettes. She hoped she could style famous stars someday.

This post is related to Easily Confused Words: Sequins vs. Sequence, and Easily Confused Words: Palate vs. Palette.

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