Easily Confused Words: Magazine vs. Mezzanine

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.

Magazine has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means a part of a gun where the ammunition is stored. Sometimes they can be detachable, sometimes not.
  • As a noun, it can also mean a small building where gunpowder and other artillery is stored.
  • As a noun, it can mean where film is stored and fed into the shutter area for exposure.
  • As a noun, it means a book published monthly or quarterly on a specific subject: national politics, fashion, industries, cooking, and finance are just some popular topics for magazines.

Mezzanine is a noun. It means the balcony in a theater or opera house used for seating. The mezzanine hovers over the back rows of the ground floor. Typically the further a seat is located from the stage, the less it costs.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Mazin was fascinated with film. When he wasn’t ushering theatergoers to their seats in the front row or the mezzanine, he was insatiably reading the Variety and film industry magazines. He was determined to go to film school after graduation. 

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