Easily Confused Words: Bawdy vs. Body

Bawdy and Body 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.

Bawdy is an adjective, it means anything low-brow, obscene, lewd, or raunchy. It’s used to describe words, humor, writing, or film.

Body is a noun. A body is the physical structure of an animal or human being, comprised of bones, muscles, and organs. A body can also mean a grouping of people in a religious of government capacity.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Baldwin was a former performing artist and model long acclaimed for his handsome body. In later life, he parlayed his brand into shock jock territory. In just five years, he was more well-known for his bawdy sense of humor and his “once upon a one night stand” tales told in graphic detail. 

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