Easily Confused Words: Blaze vs. Blasé

Blaze and blasé 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.

Blaze (pronounced “bl-A-zz”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means a fire.
  • As a verb, it means to shine, to radiate. It can also mean to continue shooting guns at a steady pace, as soldiers do on a battleground.

Blasé (pronounced “bl-ah-zeh”) is an adjective, it’s a French word. It describes an attitude of boredom and disappointment.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Blythe was watching local news reports of a blaze in a nearby forest. Being a passionate environmentalist, she found the coverage had a blase, disinterested tone in its coverage about the fire versus the crime reporting.

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