Easily Confused Words: Guys vs. Guise

Guys and guise 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.

Guys (pronounced “geyes”) is the plural form of the noun “guy.” Guys is collective term for a group of men or boys. It can also be used by a speaker to address a group of friends or other associates.

Guise (pronounced “geyes”) is a noun.

  • It can mean actual appearance.
  • It can also mean a costume or wardrobe choice.
  • It can mean an assumed appearance or the impression being given.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Gustave was trying to play it cool. He maintained the guise of the cool jock who wanted nothing more than to talk games and football with his teammates. Actually, he wanted to talk comic books with the arty & bookish kids in his class.

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