Easily Confused Words: Devotion vs. Demotion

Devotion and demotion 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.

Devotion (pronounced “dee-voh-shun”) is a noun. It means the loving connectedness a person feels towards someone or something else, a feeling you would do anything for the recipient because you care that much.

Demotion (pronounced “dee-moh-shun”) is a noun. It means to remove someone from their current status or position of responsibility to a lower status or position of responsibility.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Dmitri was delighted to have his son, Devon, join the family business five years ago. He had always felt a great deal of devotion towards his eldest boy. He had looked forward to passing the reins on when he retired. However, Devon had been making poor, costly decisions in the last six months. He seemed very distracted. Devon’s subordinates, at first reluctant to speak up, expressed concern about Devon’s leadership to Dmitri. It certainly looked like Devon would be receiving a demotion in the near future.

His sister, Divina, would be starting work soon. Maybe she would be the one to take over one day. 


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