Easily Confused Words: Fiji vs. Fuji

Fiji and Fuji are easily confused words. They are proper nouns because they are the names of geographic locations. Those locations have inspired a number of company names.

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.

Fiji (pronounced Fee-jee) is an archipelago of over 330 islands in the South Pacific.

  • Fiji is also the name of a bottled water company.

Fuji (pronounced Foo-jee) is the highest mountain in Japan.

  • Fujifilm is the name of a Japanese camera and film company with distribution all over the world. Fuji is also featured in many company names in Japan.
  • Fuji is also a species of apple, short for Fujisaki, Japan, where it was cultivated.

The following story uses both words correctly:

 Fumiko munched Fuji apples and Brie cheese while sitting under a palm tree in Fiji. For once in quite awhile, she didn’t have a care in the world.

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