Easily Confused Words: Fusillade vs. Fuselage

Fusillade and fuselage 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.

Fusillade (pronounced “few-suh-laid”) is a noun. It means a steady stream of firing bullets by guns or other firearms. It can also be used to mean a steady stream or flow or water, words, or other abundant material capable of steady movement.

Fuselage (pronounced “few-suh-lah-j”) is a noun. It means the central “tube” of a plane that the wings, engines, tails are attach to. On a commercial flight, he pilot flies and the passengers ride in the fuselage.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Fusako was buckled in to the fuselage of the plane. He was nervous about it, but excited about his trip. He was listening to soothing music and about to gorge on a plateful of fusilli pasta when he heard rapid firing, like a fusillade. It was just the handheld video game of a teenager behind him.

The flight attendant gently reprimanded the teen to use headphones with his game so as to avoid disturbing the other passengers.


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