Easily Confused Words: Hugh vs. Hue

Hugh and hue 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.

Hugh is a male name. It means “heart, mind and spirit.” Some famous Hughs include actors Hugh Laurie, Hugh Grant. If someone’s last name is Hughes, it’s typically spelled with an “es” at the end.

Hue is a noun. It means a particular shade of a color.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Humphrey was told his new boarding school roommate was Hugh Winthrop; he was advised he should look for a young man with a thick mop of hair in a strawberry blonde hue. In a sea of uniformed young men and women, Hugh stood out. 

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