Easily Confused Words: Soup vs. Sop

Soup and sop 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.

Soup (pronounced “sooh-p”) is a noun. It means a liquid-based food item eaten hot, or heated. Soup is prepared by starting with a base made of water, meat broth, blended vegetables, or a combination of the above ingredients. Herbs, chunks of meat or vegetables, and noodles or rice are added to the base and heated up for 30 minutes or more. The idea is the flavors of the base meld with the flavors of the chunks. Soup is eaten with a large round spoon that has at least a 1/2″ deep bowl. It is also sometimes served with bread.

Sop (pronounced “sawp”) is a verb. It means to use a dry object to soak up liquid. For example, a mop sops up soap and water. A paper towel sops up spills on the counter.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Sophrono thoroughly enjoyed his grandma’s Avoglomeno soup. He used pieces of crusty bread to sop up every drop left in the bowl.

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