Wheel and we’ll are easily confused words. They are also homophones, meaning they are pronounced the same, but are spelled differently.
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.
Wheel (pronounced “w-eel”)
- As a noun, it means a round circle used to move people or items over distances, or in manufacturing, to ease the process of making something.
- Machinery wheels have spokes or other supports built around their inner rim for support so they don’t collapse from weight or other stressors. Wheels can be made of wood, metals, rubber.
- Cheese is made into “wheels” for salt uptake and mold distribution reasons. Learn more here.
- The phrase “take the wheel” means literally to drive a car or other vehicle. Figuratively it means to take charge or assume a leadership role because someone else cannot, doesn’t want to, or is in over their head.
- As a verb, it means to move or come on over to destination point.
We’ll (pronounced “w-eel”) is a contraction of “we will.” It’s a phrase that expresses the intent of two or more people to take action in the future.
The following story uses both words correctly:
Weiland and Wendy were having a beautiful picnic. The sunshine starting disappearing though, and dark clouds were rolling in. “We’ll need to head back before the storm,” said Weiland. “Would you take the wheel? I’m feeling a little tired.”