Easily Confused Words: Invest vs. Incest

Invest and incest 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.

Invest is a verb. It means to contribute money to a company to help it grow.

Incest is a noun. It means sexual relationship between family members. In many cultures, including the US, this is illegal and/or morally frowned upon.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Ingrid, once a victim of incest and physical abuse herself, invested in businesses and donated to charities seeking to prevent abuse and help victims heal.

This post is related to another post: Ingest and Incest.


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