Insolvent and insolent 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.
Insolent (pronounced “ihn-suh-lihnt”) is an adjective. It means being extremely rude and disrespectful, especially to authority figures. This word is similar to impertinent.
Insolvent (pronounced “ihn-sawl-vihnt”) has multiple meanings.
- As an adjective, in finance, it describes an account that can’t pay its bills or make payments on its debts.
- As a noun, it means the state of having insufficient funds for debts owed.
The following story uses both words correctly:
” I don’t understand. I was just getting comfortable and making friends here. Now you’re telling me we have to move again?! Why?!”
Inez was having another fight with her mother. Her mother said she was being insolent and needed to cool off in her room.
“Better enjoy it while I can, huh, Mom?” she stormed upstairs. Her little brother heard their voices and looked up, but then returned his attention to his Legos.
Isabella sank into the chair at the counter. Her daughter was partly right, it wasn’t fair to have to keep moving. But the big contract at her husband’s work was gone. He had confided that layoffs of most of the staff, including him, were imminent. They had to put their house on the market as soon as possible to sell quickly. They had to avoid becoming insolvent with the house or any of their debts because it would mar their credit. That would only make it harder to find new work.