Easily Confused Words: Chorale vs. Corral

Chorale and corral are easily confused words. They are also homophones, meaning they sound the same, but are pronounced differently and mean different things.

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.

Chorale (pronounced “kuhral”) means a group that sings religious or church songs. It can also mean a hymn with a lot of harmonies to it.

Corral (pronounced “kuhral”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it is an enclosure for domestic grazing animals: horses, cows, goats, and sheep.
  • As a verb, it means to form a circle of vehicles for defense.
  • As a verb, it can mean to collect, garner, or gather items together.

The following story uses both words correctly:

From the time they were small, twin brothers Klaus and Kristof used kulnings to get their family’s animals into a corral each day. This was great practice for being a part of a Lutheran chorale group later in life.

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