Easily Confused Words: Hanger vs. Hunger

Hanger and hunger 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.

Hanger is a noun. It means a wire or plastic triangle with a hook at the top used to for storing clothes in a closet. Unlike folding in a drawer, hanging clothes makes them easy to peruse and cuts down on wrinkles. Hangers are crucial for formal and dry cleaned clothes.

Hunger is a noun. Physically, it means when a person or a creature’s stomach wants to be fed. It indicates this by aching or groaning out loud. In a more abstract sense, a person can “hunger” when he/she desires positive changes in their life.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Hank helped out at his family’s dry cleaning business over the summer, putting promotional wrappers on all the hangers and reminding customers to pick up orders. It was a steady business. Certainly, it kept his family afloat. Deep down though, he was hungry for a job involving technology, intellectual challenges, and far more excitement. 

This post is related to another post: Hanger vs. Hangar

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