Easily Confused Words: Freight vs. Fright

Freight and fright 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.

Freight (pronounced “frayt”; rhymes with late, bait, mate, date) is a noun. It means the foodstuffs and raw materials shipped via train.

Fright (pronounced “fr-eye-t”; rhymes with light, might, white, bite) is a noun. It means the state of being scared or afraid.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Because her parents’ were killed in a train collision with a passenger vehicle, Frigg experienced tremendous fright when she saw freight and passenger trains.


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