Easily Confused Words: Blink vs. Blank

Blink and blank 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.

Blink is a verb. It means to close and open, as your eyes do every few seconds. it can also mean to flash on and off, like a blinking light.

Blank has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it can mean a line on a form where a signature or other words need to be entered.
  • As a noun, it can mean a real or imagined empty space.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Blythe was finally on her favorite quiz show and she had made it to the final round. When she heard the final $100,00o question, her mind drew a blank at first. Then she took a deep breath, gave her eyes a slow blink, and focused on the answer. She wrote a wild guess on her panel in the nick of time. It was right! 

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