Easily Confused Words: Krewe vs. Crew

Krewe and Crew 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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Krewe is a noun. It means a private social club that sponsors floats, balls, parties, and other charity events at Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is the festivities in New Orleans leading up to Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is a French American cousin to Carnivale festivities of Brazil and traditionally Catholic Caribbean nations.

Crew has multiple meanings.

  • It can mean a group of workers on a boat, airplane, train, airship/zepplin, or a spaceship.
  • It can mean other types of groups gathered for a common goal or purpose.
  • A team of competitive rowers.
  • It can mean a T-shirt with a round collar band close to the neck. Most men’s T-shirts are crew necks or v-necks, while women’s shirts vary: scoop, high v-neck, low v-neck, sweetheart are all types of necklines for women’s T-shirts.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Krispin won a Mardi Gras contest on the Whistling Gnu Krewe float. He was so ecstatic to be part of the float’s crew, throwing beads and coins at the partygoers in the streets. 

Easily Confused Words: Farro vs. Pharaoh

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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Farro is a noun. It’s pronounced fAHR-oh, from the Italian word is farrotto. It means long wheat grains that are cooked in hot water for food. Like quinoa, it is considered a “super-grain” that is high in nutrients, fiber, and protein.

Pharaoh is a noun. It can be pronounced fay-roh or fah-roh. [I admit I am more familiar with the former, short a sound pronounciation.] It means the royal, deified leaders of ancient Egypt.

Since these two words are so close in sound, context is everything: if someone is talking about ancient Egypt, they probably mean Pharaoh. If they are talking about food, they probably mean farro.

The following story uses both words correctly:

While farro was common cuisine for the poorest people of Rome, there’s no indication the Pharaohs or common ancient Egyptians ate it. 

Easily Confused Words: Impending vs. Impeding

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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Impending is an adjective. It describes something is highly predicted or bound to happen.

Impeding is the gerund form of the verb impede. It means to holding up, delaying, creating a barrier or obstacle, getting in the way of an activity or goal.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Imran was winning the golf championship with just 4 holes to go, when lightning began to strike several miles away. He knew there was an impending storm headed his way, but he was on such a successful streak. He resented Mother Nature impeding his inevitable win today. What if he didn’t feel as focused and confident tomorrow? 

Easily Confused Words: Beating vs. Beading

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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Beating has multiple forms.

  • As a verb, it is the gerund form. Beating something means using hands or a object to hit something repeatedly. A popular idiom is “beating around the bush,” which means to waste time in busywork instead of dealing with the most important problem quickly and directly.
  • As a noun, it means the condition of being beaten, physically or more figuratively. Rugs receive a beating to get dust and dirt out of their fibers. Sports teams “take a beating” when the other team wins by a wide margin.

Beading has multiple forms.

  • As an verb, it means putting beads onto a strand, or the art form of jewelry making using beads, or decorating a purse or clothing with beads and thread.
  • As a noun, it means beads or strands of beads on clothing or accessories. Fringe “flapper” dresses are famous for their covering of thousands of strands of beads. As the young women who wore these dresses danced around vigorously, the strands would flap and sparkle in all directions. Tina Turner is famous for wearing fringe dresses at her live performances from the 1960s-1980s.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Beatrice was releasing her first line of clothes for the spring 2016 season for the Baltimore Fashion Show. When one of her dresses lost its beading on the runway, she was mortified. She knew the judges saw that, and would score her low on her craftsmanship. Her overall score was bound to take a beating. 

Easily Confused Words: Team vs. Teem

Team and teem 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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Team is a noun. It means a group congregated for a common task or purpose. Sports teams play ball. Teams within companies work on projects and handle problems.

Teem is a verb. It means to be abundant, in great supply or quantity. Teeming is the gerund form.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Tamika tried to join the corporate world, but realized two years in that she didn’t like it. The office politics. The antics involved in being “a team player.” So she left it all to join the Park Service. She found being in wide open spaces that teem with wild creatures was a much better fit for her personality. 

Easily Confused Words: Aborigine vs. Aubergine

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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Aborigine is a proper noun. It’s the collective term for the tribal hunter-gatherers of Australia.

Aubergine is a noun. It’s the French word for eggplant. The eggplant most Americans and Europeans know is a bulbous, fleshy vegetable with dark purple skin. The inner flesh is a pale cream color with lots of beige seeds in it.

Japanese eggplant is more long and slender, like a cucumber shape, only purple.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Abraham was making an aubergine casserole with his daughter Abigail. Out of nowhere, she asked, “Do you think aborigines eat aubergines?”

“No I suspect not. Aubergines are more of a cold climate food. But you know, there are huckleberries that are nightshades like the aubergine, and they might eat those.” Abigail stared at the glass pan where the casserole was coming together, looking very confused. Having a botanist dad was complicated sometimes. 

Easily Confused Words: Dept. vs. Debt

Dept. and debt 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’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Dept. is an abbreviation for department. A department is a noun, it’s a section of a retail store, a company, or other organization.

Debt is an noun. It means an amount owed from one person or group to another.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Delphine worked three jobs as she tried to pay off student debt. Reviewing her finances one Sunday afternoon, she realized it would take 20 or more years to pay all that money back at her current income level. She decided she needed a change and enrolled in training to become a commercial truck driver.