Easily Confused Words: Crochet vs. Croquet

Crochet and croquet are easily confused words. They are also both French words that have found their way into English.

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.

Crochet (pronounced “krohw-shay”) is a noun. It means a sewing style that uses one hook versus two needles to create its knotted patterns of yarn.

Croquet (pronounced “krohw-kay”) is a noun. It is a yard sport played with wooden patterned balls, wooden mallets, and small metal arches. Once the arches have been planted in a grassy lawn, the goal is to hit the ball through the arches to score points.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Crockett wasn’t sure what to make of the birthday gift his aunt had shipped him from overseas. It looked like a knitted satchel in his two of his least favorite colors: yellow and red.

“What is it, Mom?”

“Oh it’s a bag to carry your lacrosse and croquet gear, son. She worked so hard on it. She crocheted it by hand. It must have taken hours. What’s the matter, don’t you like it?”

“My team’s colors are blue and white. This is going to stand out.”

 

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