Easily Confused Words: Hanger vs. Hangar

Hanger and Hangar are easily confused words and homophones.

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.

Hangar is a noun, it means the huge garages where aircraft are parked and stored when not in use.

Hanger is a noun. It means the metal, plastic, or wood devices that hold tops, jackets and dresses. Typically, clothing with “shoulders” that need to be supported to avoid wrinkling.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Hang* rose early, and was all set to fly. But where was her flight suit? It wasn’t in its usual place, on its hanger in her locker at the hangar on Base. Where could it be? 

(*=pronounced hong, it means Moon in Vietnamese)


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