Easily Confused Words: Piece vs. Peace

Piece vs. Peace are easily confused words. They are homophones, they sound just alike but they are spelled differently.

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 suggests what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions couldn’t be more off base and produces humorous results.

Piece is a noun. It means a portion of a larger whole.

Piece is used in several idioms:

  • A piece of cake: The speaker feels something he/she has been asked to do is an easy task.
  • Piece of my mind: The speaker is offering someone else their opinion or perspective. Most of the time, it’s something that pisses him/her off.
  • Piece of work: The speaker is describing someone irritable, difficult to be around.

A related adjective, piecey, is not found in the dictionary, but it is used to describe hair in modern times. Piecey hair has been groomed with wax or pomade at the ends so hair has texture whether it is super straight, super curly, or layered and very short.

Peace is a noun.

  • It means a state of quiet or tranquility.
  • It can also mean a nation that is not involved in a war effort.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Pia, mother of four, was tired of not getting a moment’s peace around her children. One afternoon, she was very close to taking the toys they fought over and busting them to pieces. She took a deep breath and said, “I need you to go outside and play there for the next three hours.” The kids obliged.

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