Easily Confused Words: Infiltrate vs. Infuriate

Infiltrate and infuriate 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.

Infiltrate (pronounced “ihn-fill-trayt”) is a verb.

  • It means to pass through a filter
  • It means to get through an actual or virtual barrier in order to take control, or gain influence over, an adversary.

Infuriate (pronounced “ihn-fyoor-ee-ate”) is a verb. It means to make someone or a creature angry. Put another way, to provoke his/her temper.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Ingfred knew it would infuriate her principal if she could infiltrate the school’s records and magically change her grades to straight A’s. So naturally, she had to try. 

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