Mayonnaise and Malaise 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.
Malaise (pronounced “muh-layz”) is a noun. It means a condition of physical fatigue, typically forewarning that illness has set in. It can also mean a general feeling of lethargy and being uncomfortable.
Mayonnaise (pronounced “may-awn-ayz”) is a noun. This is a spread made from a raw egg yolk and olive oil base. it is used on sandwiches to moisten the bread and add flavor. Sometimes it’s called “mayo (“may-oh”)” for an abbreviation.
Today (2017), there are egg-free mayonnaise alternatives on the US market for people on vegan or low cholesterol diets.
The following story uses both words correctly:
Malachi was starting to wish he hadn’t come to work today. He felt a general sense of malaise, like he might be really sick later. As he choked down chips and a tomato mayonnaise sandwich on break, his manager, Mallory, stopped by.
“Are you okay?” she asked, “You look really pale.”
“I’m muddling through. The side of my stomach just started hurting.”
“We need to close. I think you might have appendicitis and I don’t know who else can drive you.”