Easily Confused Words: Oeuvre vs. Over

Oeuvre and over 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.

Oeuvre (pronounced uh-vruh) is a body of work by a writer, painter, or musician.

Over (pronounced oh-v-er) is a word with multiple meanings.

  • As an adverb, it means terminated or ended, as in a relationship.
  • As a preposition, it literally means to be located above something else, or to rank in a position of authority above someone else.
  • As a preposition, figuratively, when a person says “they’re over it,” it means they’ve ceased to care about the outcome.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Ovelinda was initially devastated to be left at the altar by her fiancé. A week later, she was over it. She channeled the feelings of abandonment, betrayal, and loss into a new chapter for her music, the new sounds and attitude were quite a departure from her existing oeuvre. The following year, her compositions won multiple awards.


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