Easily Confused Words: Know vs. Now

Know and Now 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.

Know (pronounced “n-oh”; k is silent.) is a verb. It means to possess awareness and intellect on a subject, or subjects.

Now (pronounced “nuh-ohw”) is a preposition. Prepositions tend to indicate location in physical space, or in time. Now means the current time,  the current moment. Just now means something that happened in the last few minutes.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Knox prided himself always being on top of the latest trends–from film, to books, to music, to politics, to fashion. He had a blog and podcast called “Knox Knows All About the Now.” Eventually he shortened that to “The Now with Knox.”


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