Easily Confused Words: Divot vs. Pivot

Divot and pivot are easily confused words. This is an instance where one letter makes all the difference.

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.

Divot (pronounced “dih-vuh-tt”) is a noun. It’s a piece of turf that was dug out by a putter’s swinging golf club as it attempts to whack a golfball.

Pivot (pronounced “pih-vuh-tt”) is a verb. It means to change position or direction, often from a problem area to one with better circumstances and more positive outcomes.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Liv had originally dreamed of joining the LPGA, but her golf game wasn’t as strong as it needed to be at age 15. Her strokes left a lot of divots in the turf and her scores were too high. She decided to pivot to another sport, surfing.


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