Easily Confused Words: Gluten vs. Glutton

Gluten and glutton 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.

Gluten is a noun. It’s what gives dough its flexibility and elasticity. It recent years, too much gluten in processed baked goods and complex carbohydrates has been blamed for making some people sick or bloated. That’s when the gluten-free food business was born.

Glutton is a noun. It means someone who eats too much. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Gladys’ size growing up was often blamed on gluttony. Actually, she had gluten and other food allergies that were compromising her energy and metabolism. When she changed her diet in her 20s, that changed everything. Of course, going home for the holidays meant bringing her own food.

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