Easily Confused Words: Boolean vs. Bullion

Boolean and bullion 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.

Boolean (pronounced “boo-leen”) is an adjective. It is a mathematics, specifically, algebra. A boolean expression is a logical statement that is either true or false, you can read more about that here.

On the internet, a boolean search means phrase typed into an search engine that features conjunctions like “or” and “and.”

Bullion (pronounced “boo-lee-ahn”) is a noun. It means a mass of gold or silver. It can also mean corded embellishments on uniforms, or embroidery featuring gold or silver wire, or thread.

In the culinary world, bullion (also spelled boullion), can mean the bone broth created while cooking chicken, turkey, or beef.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Buona was ordering supplies online for her upcoming Feast of the Seven Fishes. She did a boolean search for the best fishmongers and butchers in her area. She wasn’t sure if she should get bullion cubes, boxed broth, fish sauce, or anchovies from their online marketplace, so she ordered all four.


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