Easily Confused Words: Remiss vs. Reminisce

Remiss and Reminisce 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.

Remiss means to be negligent, sluggish, reluctant to do what’s expected or the honorable thing.

Reminisce means to remember a memory with fondness or a sense of romanticism.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Remy and Randy had been a couple throughout high school, then they went their separate ways. At the 40 year reunion, they saw each other for the first time in a long time. Randy asked if she ever thought about their youth. Remy said, “I would be remiss if I said I didn’t reminisce about those days.”


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