Easily Confused Words: Tint vs. Tent

Tint and tent 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.

Tint (pronounced “tihn-t”) is a noun. It can mean a gray film added to car windows to cut down on sunlight and other glare. In some areas, overly tinted car windows are illegal.

Tint can also mean a shade of a color, or an effect added to a color. At a house paint store, you’ll notice the palest tints are white with a tiny bit of the other color, while the darkest ones have the color with some black or dark blue added for richness.

Tent (pronounced “tehn-t”) is a noun. It means a fabric enclosure, supported by poles ( rods, tubing), and ground spikes, used for sleeping outdoors. Many tents are dome or triangular in shape.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Tindra, age 7, wanted to camp in her backyard with her sisters. She was looking everywhere for a tent colored in a night sky tint: a very deep blue-black. She was having absolutely no luck. Everything for sale at the stores was a muddy green or a bright red. If her parents would help, maybe she could make her own.


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