Easily Confused Words: Pedant vs. Pendant

Pedant and pendant 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.

Pedant (pronounced “pehd-nt”) is an adjective. It describes someone who shows off their intelligence, or makes a fuss over details. Perhaps you’ve heard a variant of it, “pedantic”?That means a person displaying pedant tendencies.

Pendant (pronounced “pin-dant”) is a noun. It means a piece of jewelry typically sold on an necklace chain.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Pedrio owned the most famous mani-pedi salon in Padricsburg. His wife, Pati, felt he was pedant about his client’s nail art. Surely he spoiled these strangers with all that lavish attention and dedication to detail. One afternoon, though, she got the surprise of her life.

Pedrio presented her with a huge emerald pendant for their 10th anniversary. All that dedication to customer service had really paid off.

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