Easily Confused Words: Halve vs. Halva

Halve and halva 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.

Halve is a verb. It means to split an object into two equal pieces, or halves.

Halva is a noun. It means a confectionary food item made from crushed sesame seeds and honey. Halva originates from Turkey.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Hal wanted to share goodies he recently procured in Istanbul, but he was unsure how to halve a container of halva into equal portions. Where were the measuring cups and those Gladware containers when he needed them?


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