Easily Confused Words: Connive vs. Convene

Connive and convene 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.

Connive (pronounced “cahn-eye-v) is a verb. It means to make devious plans, to calculate or conspire with others to gain power. It can also mean failing to protest or object at things others would

Convene (pronounced “cahn-veen”) is a verb. It means to congregate. For people to get together in one space for a common purpose.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Connellee attempted to convene the meeting in spite of light attendance. This was the third poor turnout in a row, especially by the other officers on the board. With several important issues on the agenda, it was crucial to move forward.

She had trusted the other officers on the board. Why not? They had all worked well together over the last nine months.  She hadn’t suspected any one of them to connive, or suddenly undermine the remaining goals for the year. 


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