Easily Confused Words: Voracity vs. Velocity

Voracity and velocity 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.

Voracity (pronounced “vawr-ass-city”) is a noun. It’s the quality of being voracious, which means having a big appetite. This appetite can be literal or figurative. A literal appetite is food, a figurative appetite would be for experiences, travel, a sport, or a hobby.

Velocity (pronounced “vell-aw-city”) is a noun. It means motion, especially speed while traveling on land, in the air, or in the water.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Grandpa Vachel, know as a real daredevil among friends, felt a real voracity for high velocity and high risk. He always said that at the end of his life, he didn’t want any race not ridden, no dare unaccepted. 

Perhaps he was onto something: he lived to age 95. 

This post relates to another post: Easily Confused Words: Veracity vs. Voracity.


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