Easily Confused Words: Drawl vs. Draw

Drawl and draw 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.

Drawl is a noun. It means a dialect, or manner of speaking, in which words are pronounced slowly and some syllables are “drawn out” or audibly lengthened above others. US Southern and southwestern accents are said to have a drawl, as opposed to the rapid pacing New York City natives use when they pronounce words.

Draw has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, draw can be short for drawing, another way of saying raffle.
  • As a noun, draw can mean a conflict escalating to a life or death situation.
  • As a verb, draw means to make images on a paper using a pencil, charcoal, pen, pastel or other writing utensil. In the computer age, a virtual pen draws on a virtual mousepad or directly on the screen, and programming within an app uses the artists movements and tool settings to determine how the drawing appears.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Dre knew things were going to be different here in McAllen (from his native Queens) when his new neighbors shouted out with drawl, “Awwnnndreeeyyyy, how arrr yooooo today?” as he walked to school. Thankfully, he loved to draw and he had art class first period. At least one thing was the same. 

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