Easily Confused Words: Banned vs. Band

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.

Banned is the past tense of verb ban. It means to forbid or outlaw an activity or a thing.

Band is a noun. It means a group of people united in a common purpose. Typically, groups of musicians or singers, but it can also refer to thieves.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Benita and her girlfriends were all English Literature majors and musicians. This year, they aimed to start a band called “The Banned Books” and go on tour all summer long. 

Easily Confused Words: Complication vs. Compilation

Complication and compilation 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.

Complication is a noun. It means a problem or a difficulty that happens, or could potentially happen in a planned course of action.

Compilation is a noun, it’s related to the verb compile. It means a grouping or a collection of things.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Connor wanted to record a compilation of his favorite songs, the ones that inspired him to become a musician. He found lots of complications with the licensing for some tracks. 

Easily Confused Words: Enjoin vs. Enjoy

Enjoin and Enjoy 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 it thinks you want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are wrong and hysterically funny.

Enjoin is a verb. It means to require or obligate a person to do something.

Enjoy is a verb. It means to be happy participating in an activity, or pursuing and activity.

The following story uses forms of both words correctly:

Enzo really enjoys his job as a doctor in a small town, even when it’s challenging. He says the hardest part is enjoining his patients to eat more veggies and get more exercise, and getting them to heed his guidance.

Easily Confused Words: Ordnance vs. Ordinance

Ordnance and ordinance 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.

Ordnance is a noun. It means military weaponry, artillery, cannons, and ammunition, and the branch of the army that purchases, stores and develops new weaponry.

Ordinance is a noun. It means a rule pertaining to a city, town, or someone’s property. It can also mean a rite or ceremony but this is not a usage I encounter too often.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Odette worked with a lot of HOAs. It seemed some created more ordinances than others. She noticed that neighborhoods close to an area Army ordnance seemed more concerned about safety and employing curfews.

Easily Confused Words: Dongle vs. Dangle

Dongle and dangle 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.

Dongle is a noun. Originally it meant a device attached to a computer that the computer can’t operate without, for example, a badge or other credential reader. The purpose of dongles was to prevent intrusion by unauthorized people.

Now that there are more wireless technologies, dongles mean devices that plug into a computer for additional or enhanced functionality. A wireless adapter.

Dangle is a verb. It means something hanging or suspending by one limb or appendage over a cliff or other surface.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Donnelly was excited to get into software engineering in a big city after growing up in a remote village with little opportunity. When he was a preteen, he felt like a cat left to dangle by its claws on the edge of a cliff, the great unknown under his feet. But now, in this new world of motherboards, monitors, dongles, mouses, and gigabytes, he felt excited by the unknown, not daunted by it. 

Easily Confused Words: Anyone vs. Anymore

Anyone and anymore are easily confused words. I see anymore used instead of anyone frequently online.

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 are funny, not helpful.

Anyone is a pronoun. It is a generic term for individual people, whether the speaker is talking to them directly, or referring to them generally in conversation:

Directly: Does anyone have a pen I can borrow?

Generally: I don’t think anyone is interested in a sequel.

Anymore is an adverb. It is used when a speaker is talking about something that’s ended or done, whether that was intentional or not.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Agatha, once a popular socialite, found her agoraphobia crippling. She didn’t see anyone anymore, and was scared about doing so. 

Easily Confused Words: Curtsy vs. Courtesy

Curtsy and courtesy 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 it anticipates you want to save time. Quite often, its suggestions are more humorous than useful.

Curtsy is a noun. It means the bow women and girl subjects make towards a member of royalty.

Courtesy is a noun. It means a gesture done with consideration, showing good manners and respect.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Courtney saw an absence of manners manifesting in her generation, so she created an etiquette school in response. Entry level classes started small with table manners and basic courtesy, while higher level classes dealt with meeting dignitaries and how to properly bow and curtsy for royalty. Her students were thrilled when small changes in their approach paid off in spades at work.