Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Scrapped vs. Scraped

Scrapped and scraped 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.

Scrapped (pronounced “skRAPd”; rhymes with capped, mapped, slapped) is the past tense of the verb “scrap.” It means to discard something that isn’t useful, or to cease work on a project that isn’t going anywhere. So “scrapped” indicates something that was discarded, or given up on, in the past.

Scraped (pronounced “skRAYpd”; rhymes with taped, caped) is the past tense of the verb “scrape.”

  • To scrape can means to scuff, abrasively cut, or roughen the surface of something. So “scraped” indicates this scuffing or roughing happened in the past. For example: When I was little I  frequently scraped my knees.
  • It can also mean to scrounge for money or resources (in the past), as in the sentence “I scraped together enough money to attend the concert.”

The following story uses both words correctly:

Scannal scrapped the trip he’d made for himself and his fiancée. She broke off the engagement. He had worked and scraped together all that money for years. Now those plans were gone overnight, and he really didn’t know what to do next. His sister, Scirocco, suggested going on a trip alone.

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Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Mali vs. Molly

Mali and Molly 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.

Mali (pronounced “mah-lee”) is a proper noun. It is a nation in the center of western Africa.

Molly (pronounced “mawl-lee”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it is a female name meaning “bitter;” it is related to the name Mary.
  • In slang, it is a street name for the drug ecstasy, or MDMA.

The following story uses both words correctly:

After years of working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, Molly MacIver decided to write a book about her experiences.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Overreacting vs. Overreaching

Overreacting and overreaching 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.

Overreacting (pronounced “oh-vuhr-ee-act-ihng”; rhymes with enacting) is the gerund form of the verb “overreact.” It means to respond in an extremely emotional or aggressive way given the circumstances. Often it’s a third person (who isn’t directly involved or impacted by a situation) that observes that someone is overreacting. But it can be a person who is questioning their own feelings, too.

Overreaching (pronounced “oh-vuhr-each-ihng”) is the gerund form of the verb overreach.

  • It can mean using one’s authority or influence beyond the accepted scope of one’s powers.
  • It can mean a new law or regulation that infringes on existing rights or privileges, or appears to infringe on those things.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Seasoned reporter Ovida Johnson was having a difficult time getting the answers she wanted. Oscar Oz, who was running a regional law enforcement crackdown, was accused of overreaching his authority. When she tried to question him about the issue, she was accused of being hysterical and overreacting.

“Ovida, Ovida. These people are drug addicts, they’re very unpredictable. We have to be proactive and aggressive if we’re going to stop them from overrunning our state.”

 “They have rights, Mr. Oz. Are they reminded they have a right to representation? That they have the right to remain silent?”

“All proper procedures are being followed when we apprehend people. We are professionals, Ovida.”

Within hours of the press conference, it was revealed that many people apprehended in this drug sweep had been detained for weeks without contact to the outside world. No contact with their families, with legal representation, with no one.

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Recite vs. Reticent

Recite and reticent 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.

Recite (pronounced “ree-SEYEt”; rhymes with ignite, delight) is a verb.

  • It can mean to verbalize something memorized, like a poem, a procedure, song lyrics, foreign words, or character lines in a play.
  • It can mean to respond verbally with something recently learned when prompted.

Reticent (pronounced “rett-ih-sihnt”; ) is an adjective. It describes a person who isn’t talkative, forthcoming, or effusive with their speech. Typically they are inclined to stay quiet, or not say a lot.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Rhett could recite The Iliad from memory, but teachers struggled to engage with him. Getting him to answer questions in class or participate in discussion was a struggle. 

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Calibrate vs. Caliber

Calibrate and caliber 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.

Calibrate (pronounced “kal-ih-brayt”; rhymes with salivate) is a verb. It means to adjust a device’s parts in order to achieve utmost accuracy in its readings or other output. Some devices are capable of their own calibration procedures, but it has to be initiated by the user.

Monitors, digital televisions, printers, body weight scales, food scales are just a few examples of items that work best when regularly calibrated.

Caliber (pronounced “kal-ih-buhrr”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means the diameter of a tube, pipe,or similarly shaped device.
  • As a noun, in weaponry, it means the diameter of a gun. A gun can’t work if the correct size bullets don’t match the gun’s caliber.
  • As an adjective, when describing people, it means high skill in particular activity or possessing a high level of integrity in doing one’s job.
  • As an adjective, it can describe a society, a culture, or other collective group. High caliber means possessing high quality, having high morals or standards, while low caliber means poor or low standards.

In the UK, this word is spelled calibre.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Caleb was an executive assistant looking for extra help around the office. He was seeking someone with more IT experience than he had, and a high caliber individual who would take the job seriously. 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Share vs. Cherie

Share and Cherie 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.

Share (pronounced “shAIR”; rhymes with care, fair, bear, mare) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means to offer a portion of something to another person. For example, toddlers like to share food they are eating with their parents; sometimes they try to feed them, too.
  • As a noun, in investing, it means possessing a financial stake in a company. The more shares you own, the more your opinion holds sway in how it operates.
  • As a noun, on social media, it means the number of times a user passed a piece of your content on to their followers. Online brands and personalities are very concerned with how many likes and shares each piece of their content receives. This indicates which content is the most popular, and what might need to be duplicated, or imitated, for similar success in the future.
  • As a noun, it means an assumed interest or portion that belongs to each party, as in the sentence, “I want to make sure he gets his fair share of _________.”

Cherie (pronounced “shair-REE”) is a French word for “dear.”

  • For example, In 1969, Stevie Wonder had a song called “My Cherie Amour,” which translated means “my beloved/my dearest love.”
  • On a related note, The pop singer “Cher” ‘s birth name is Cherilyn Sarkisian. The first name means “beloved.”

The following story uses both words correctly:

Charmaine was determined to rebuild her family’s brand, Chantal. Her brothers Chesare and Kasim thought a sale would be a good idea, so they approached her:

“Cherie, will you consider selling your shares in the family business?” 

“No. We lost everything in the fire. It’s all I have left for a connection to all our grandparents built.”

“But the business is stagnant and has been for years. We have an interested buyer who could really turn things around.”

“So we can pay for a consultation and turn it around ourselves.” 

This post relates to another post: Easily Confused Words: Sherry vs. Sharing

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Eyed vs. Eid

Eyed and Eid 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.

Eyed (pronounced “eye-d”; rhymes with lied, pied, sighed, cried, pied) is the past tense of the verb “eye.” To eye something is to look it over, and to find it hard to look away without stealing more glances. So if someone eyed something, they kept looking at it in the past.

Eid (pronounced “ee-ihd”; rhymes with Enid) is a proper noun. It is a holy day in Islam. There are two Eids during the year, Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. Eid al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. Eid al Adha recognizes the huge sacrifice Ibrahim (Abraham) was willing to make for love and devotion to God. He almost killed his son, Isaac, in a sacrifice.

This year, 2018,  Ramadan begins the evening of May 16th. Eid al Fitr will begin the evening of June 15th, while Eid Al Adha will begin the evening of August 20.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Eiliar couldn’t believe what a party this was. It would be the first big family holiday he would remember. All he could see was a sea of feet before him. 

His father lifted him onto his shoulders so he could see better. He said to the child, “This is Eid Al Fitr, Eiliar.”

There were many happy faces and finely dressed people. So many tables of food. He eyed the dessert table hungrily. 

This post relates to another post: “Easily Confused Words: Eyed vs. I’d