Easily Confused Words: Manger vs. Manager

Manger and manager 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.

Manger is a noun. It means a feeding or water trough used to feed farm animals. Perhaps the most of famous manger is the one featured in the Nativity story:  Mary and Joseph found a barn when all the lodges and inns were too full. After Jesus was born, he was swaddled and placed into the manger as a makeshift crib.

Manager is a noun. It means someone placed in a leadership role in a business, often overseeing a team of people or a particular issue. Some businesses have several managers since there are so many facets of the business that need specialized focus, like sales, operations, finance, and technology.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Mehrangiz worked as a manager in finance for twenty years. She sought simplicity in the next phase of her career, so she took a leap and bought a farm. At first, she didn’t know stables from mangers, and all the tools required to feed and clean up after animals looked alike. But six months in, she was very comfortable and knew she had made the right decision.

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Easily Confused Words: Feet vs. Feat

Feet and feat are easily confused words. They are also homophones, meaning they sound alike but 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’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.

Feet is a noun, it’s the plural form of foot.

  • A foot can mean the flat parts of the body that a person stands, walks, runs, and skips on.
  • A foot can also mean a unit of measure equalling 12 inches, or 30.48 centimeters. Measurements over a foot are indicated in feet: for example, two feet, four feet, six feet.

Feat is a noun. It means a demonstration of skill, strength, or exceptional talent in a particular area.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Feleti wasn’t sure she could perform her gymnastic feats in the school talent show. Her feet were still sore from the charity marathon she ran the previous weekend. 

Easily Confused Words: Acclimate vs. Accumulate

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

Acclimate is a verb. It means to adapt to one’s surroundings in order to be more physically comfortable. In a figurative sense, it can mean making efforts to fit in to a new environment. This can mean changing one’s wardrobe, or something less visible like changing one’s attitude.

Accumulate is a verb. It means objects gathering together, or piling up, to the point of excess.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Acacia noticed the more she tried to acclimate at the office, the more her coworkers would delegate tasks to her. In the course of one week, so many files had accumulated on her desk, they cascaded onto the floor. It took forever to figure out which papers belonged in which files, and few of her new work friends stopped to help.

Easily Confused Words: Regime vs. Regimen

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

Regime has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means an authoritarian government, a ruling system, or a management group.
  • As an adjective, It can also mean fees assessed by a management team for a property. In the US, if you live in a condo or subdivision with an HOA managing it, often you pay “regime fees” to maintain that property. These fees pay for one or more of the following services: landscaping services of shared spaces, gardening services of shared spaces, pest control for shared spaces, exterior pressure washing of buildings, exterior painting of buildings, neighborhood pool and clubhouse maintenance, and funding for future building repairs (if you share a roof and walls with other residents.)

Regimen is a noun. It means a ritual, procedure, or a regular habit or set of habits. For example, many people have an exercise regimen. It can also mean a procedure to remedy an illness or problem. The regimen for fighting off a cold is hydration, rest, and chicken soup.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Regina was planning a revolution. Her twin brother, King Reginald, was running the harshest regime in Reggoletto’s recent history. He subjected his people to harsh taxes. Offenders received merciless sentences. Everyday, obedient subjects endured regimens of hard labor, building monuments to his legacy. This is not the Reggoletto their late mother, the Queen, would have wanted. Something had to change, and fast.

Easily Confused Words: Scepter vs. Specter

Scepter and specter 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.

Scepter (pronounced “sehp+tehr”) is a noun. It means the ornate, often precious metal staff carried by a member of royalty, like the Queen of England, to symbolize power. [In British English, it’s spelled sceptre but pronounced the same as “scepter.”]

Specter (pronounced “speck+turr”) is a noun. It means a visible spirit, like a ghost or phantom, that induces terror, fear, or horror. In a figurative sense, it can mean the presence of something disturbing, perhaps seeing one’s worst fears realized, like starvation, debt, or illness. [In British English, it’s spelled spectre but pronounced the same as “specter.”]

The following story uses both words correctly:

On a tour of Canterbury Cathedral, Catrin swore she saw specters of various historic figures, like King Henry II dressed in royal robes and carrying a scepter. She thought she heard voices arguing, and saw another spirit fall to the ground, attacked by a group of spirits. Little did she know college students were in another room re-enacting the play, Becket. As her group toured the site, she was catching glimpses of rehearsals out of the corner of her eye.

Easily Confused Words: Joules vs. Jewels

Joules and jewels are easily confused words and homophones.

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.

Joules (pronounced “joolz”) is a plural form of the noun joule. A joule is a unit of measure, used to indicate work or energy expended.

Jewels (pronounced “ju+wools”) is a plural form of the noun jewel. A jewel is gemstone or pearl that’s set into metal or wire to be worn for decoration.  Gems that have been set into rings, earrings, and necklaces are jewelry.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Little Jorge was scared when he dropped his mother’s jewels while playing with them. He feared they were glass and would break. Surprisingly, they bounced slightly off the floor. Watching them fall, collide, and fly again captivated him. He didn’t know the measurement was a joule, but he wondered what energy was involved in the jewels’ falls and rises, and how much energy each movement took. 

SIDENOTE: Jules can also be a male’s name. It can also be a nickname for women named Juliet, Julie, or Julia.

Easily Confused Words: Recant vs. Recount

Recant and recount 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.

Recant is a a verb. It means to take back a previous statement made in public.

Recount has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means to do a repeat count of objects in confirm or contest the previous results.
  • As a noun, it means an official event for recounting votes or ballots.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Reika was in charge of elections for her district. She had announced that Robinson was going to be a clear winner in the race, but later she recanted.  The recount showed some 500 votes had been omitted the first time around.