Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Deprived vs. Depraved

Deprived and depraved 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.

Deprived (dee-pry-vuhd) is the past tense of the verb “deprive.” To deprive is to refuse to meet a need, to deny care to another being. So “deprived” would be used to indicate someone failing to receive care or have their needs met in the past.

Depraved (pronounced “dee-prayv-dh”) is an adjective. It describes someone with poor tastes, mannerisms, or behaviors, to the point of being amoral or hedonistic.

One of Hunter S. Thompson’s famous articles was “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” published in Scanlan’s Monthly in June 1970. The Derby is notorious for people getting all dressed up and many more getting extremely drunk, especially on the infield.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Diego was placed in foster care after it was discovered his parents wrestled with drug addiction and committing crimes to support their habits. The boy had been deprived of attention and affection, and it showed in his behavior. He had developed a withdrawn persona, suspicious and untrusting of new people. After drifting from one household to the next, he found a home where he had brothers and at last, felt connected. His new parents, Denise and Deepak, offered to adopt him. 

At court, it was not difficult for their attorney to make the case for their full custody. Diego’s birth parents were consumed by addiction and living a depraved lifestyle that was not appropriate for children. They were incapable of looking out for their son when they were dependent on a drug and in need of so much help themselves. The judge ruled in their favor. At age 9, Diego finally had a real home.

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Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Wharf vs. Warp

Wharf and warp 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.

Wharf (pronounced “war-f”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means a manmade construct that juts out into a waterway for boat mooring, and cargo loading/unloading.
  • As a verb, it means to tie up a boat or other vessel at a wharf, or to drop off or store cargo at a wharf.

Warp (pronounced “war-p”; rhymes with harp) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means to melt or manipulate the shape of an object. Figuratively, it means to change the meaning, or interpret something is a bad way.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Warynne lost her record collection was lost on a recent transatlantic voyage. Her bag was left on a wharf in very hot weather, and all her cherished vinyls warped from the heat. When she was reunited with her possessions, they were ruined. She would have to buy all new copies. 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Seethe vs. Seize

Seethe and seize 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.

Seethe (pronounced “see-thuh”) is a verb. It means to be angry about something, but not loud or demonstrative about that anger.

Seize (pronounced “sees”) is a verb. It means to take sudden hold someone or something. It can also mean to take sudden possession of property, like the IRS does when someone owes back taxes.

The following story uses both words correctly:

When she spied Seely snatching her ninth piece of Halloween candy, Aunt Cynthia began to seethe. It was hard to resist seizing the opportunity to nag the girl about her poor food choices and stress eating. She bit her tongue. 

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Inure vs. Injure

Inure and injure 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.

Inure (pronounced “ihn-yoor”, also ‘ihn-nohr”) is a verb.

  • Used with an object (aka, “recipient word”), it means to get accustomed or adapted to a situation, a climate, or other condition.  For example, Inured to the heat, inured to the cold, inured to a company culture.
  • Used without an object, it means to become a new tradition or a new technique for achieving a task.  To become the more beneficial way of doing things.

Injure (pronounced “ihn-jyoor”) is a verb. It means to inflict a wound on oneself, another person or persons, or another creature or creatures. A wound can be a cut or laceration, a burn, a bruise, a fracture or a broken bone; it can also be a combination of these things.

In a figurative sense, it means to hurt feelings, an ego, a reputation. In other words, something else non-visible and non-tactile.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Insley, the newest person on staff, couldn’t wait to be a catalyst and influencer at the company. Just two weeks in, she proposed new techniques for better productivity. She had hoped these ideas would be popular, that the staff would become inured quickly to them because they saved time. Unfortunately, staff resented change proposals from a new person. Insley’s ego was injured. Her courage took a hit. It would be a month before she introduced another new idea.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Deflect vs. Deflate

Deflect and deflate 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.

Deflect (pronounced “dee-fleckt”) is a verb. It literally means to swerve or change direction. In communication and public speaking, it means to change topics to avoid directly responding to someone else’s inquiry.

Deflate (pronounced “dee-flayt”) is a verb. Literally, it means to lose air. Anything that depends on air for shape can deflate: an air mattress, a balloon,

More figuratively, it means to lose status, robustness, or confidence. Maybe you’ve heard of a deflated ego.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Delphina had been a political reporter for many years. She was used to the tricks some politicians used to throw her off her game.It was funny to notice that several generations of politicians resorted to the same old tactics and they didn’t work on seasoned reporters like herself.

Some mocked her intelligence, assuming that if they deflated her ego that she’d back off or be distracted to keep after them. Others deflected when asked hard questions. But Delphina reworded her questions and asked again. No one could claim she wasn’t persistent.

This post relates to another post: Easily Confused Words: Deflect vs. Reflect

 

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Brood vs. Brewed

Brood and brewed 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.

Brood (pronounced “brewd”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it can mean to sulk or be sad about something for a long time.
  • As a noun, it can mean a large number of dependents, like children, puppies, etc.

Brewed (pronounced “brewd”) is the past tense of the verb “brew.” To brew means to heat ingredients for beer, coffee, or other mixture.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Brice brewed a big pot of coffee before heading out to watch the Bransons’ brood. They had eight foster children, plus five of their own. Both parents had to work extra hours this week.

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Juggler vs. Jugular

Juggler and jugular 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.

Juggler (“juh-gluhr”) is a noun. It means a person skilled at the art of juggling. Juggling is the art of tossing multiple objects in the air and keeping them moving in perpetual motion, from one’s hands and back into the air, without dropping them.

Jugular (“juh-gyoo-luhr”) is an adjective. It means the large vein found on either sides of the neck that pumps blood out of the head and back to the heart. When carnivorous animals pursue prey, like lions with gazelles, one easy way to take the gazelle down is to grab its neck. The jugular vein is likely punctured when the lion does this, and the subsequent rapid loss of blood weakens the gazelle so it can’t get up and run away.

Figuratively, “going for the jugular” means making a critical move that almost guarantees total defeat or vanquishment of an opponent.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Jivanta the Siberian tiger was euthanized after attacking Juni the juggler clown during a circus performance. The tiger’s teeth had punctured Juni’s jugular. By the time she reached the hospital, she had lost too much blood and she died. It was unclear what made the tiger snap and attack a human. The rest of the circus troupe was shocked and saddened to lose one of their longest running human performers.

Following the tragedy, it was decided that large, wild animals would no longer be part of the circus.