Easily Confused Words: We vs. Wee

We and wee 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.

We (pronounced “wee”) is a first person pronoun. This means it’s used when the speaker is referring to an activity he/she and one person, or more people, are participating in an activity together, or in agreement on an issue.

Wee (pronounced “wee”) is an adjective. It means little. It’s a colloquialism in Ireland and the UK.

It can also mean the early morning hours of the day, occurring after midnight but before sunrise. This meaning was captured beautifully in the song In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Wendy was gushing with excitement. In the wee hours of Christmas Eve, her boyfriend Wilton proposed on the pier, and she had said yes. She couldn’t wait to visit her family and shout, “We are getting married!”

This post is related to another post: Easily Confused Words: We’re vs. Were

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