Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Yore vs. You’re

Yore and you’re 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.

Yore (“yohr”; rhymes with bore, fore, core, more) is a noun. It is another way of saying the past, yesteryear, the olden days. It’s not a word that appears in everyday conversation in the 2010s, but it does appear in songs lyrics, like Christmas carols.

For example:

  • From the American carol “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”: “here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore…”

You’re (pronounced “your”; rhymes with sure, cure) is a contraction of “you are.” If there’s any doubt about whether you need “you’re” or “your” in a sentence, insert “you are” into the sentence in its place. If it sounds awkward, then you probably wanted “your,” the possessive word, instead.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Yuri’s face brightened like he just realized something. “Did I ever tell you about the time the dog fell through the ice on Christmas and I had to fetch it?”

Yuliya said, “You’re repeating yourself, Dad, you just told that story a half hour ago.” She was concerned her dad’s memory had gotten worse in the last year. 

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Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Sale vs. Sail

Sale and sail are easily confused words. They are also homophones. This means they sound the same, but are spelled differently and mean different things.

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.

Sale (pronounced “sayyl”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means an event where merchandise is marked down.
  • As an adjective, it describes items’ whose prices have been reduced to make them sell faster.

Sail (pronounced “sayyl”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means to cross a waterway on a boat using wind energy. The wind is harnessed by a sheet of fabric suspended from perpendicular poles. The fabric is attached to the poles by multiple ropes, aka “lines, which are managed by the sailor. The mast is the vertical main pole, the boom is the smaller one.
  • As a noun, it means the fabric sheet on a sailboat that is used to harness the wind. Canvas is a traditional sail fabric. As Christopher Cross sings in Sailing: “And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility, Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see…”
    • Once synthetic fabrics came along, the sport of sailing, especially competitive sailing, embraced them. Synthetics are lighter, thinner, more flexible, and more ruggedized for weather extremes and salty air than canvas.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Sal put up all his belongings for sale in order to achieve his dream of sailing around the world. His family and his whole town thought he was crazy. He’d never pull it off. He’d change his mind. Who would walk away from a successful business and a nice house in Salazar.

A year later, when the house had sold and everything in it was gone, he drove away towing a sailboat. The townspeople filled the street to wave goodbye. 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Pavé vs. Pave

Pavé and pave 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.

Pavé (pronunciation “pah-vay”) is a French word. It is a jewelry term. It means a metal jewelry fully embedded with diamonds or other gemstones so that you can’t see any (o very little) metal between the stones.

Here are some other sites discussing this jewelry term:

Diamonds.pro

The Spruce

Pave (pronunciation “payvv”; rhyms with rave, wave, save, cave) is a verb. It means to apply a solid stone or hard surface to the ground. Paving can be done with asphalt, concrete, brick, or stone.

Paving is done to a well-used dirt path, driveway, or patio. This path or area is shared by a family or community. Paving provides a smoother surface that holds up in all kinds of weather better than dirt. It also keeps shoes cleaner, and supports outdoor furniture and appliances with a consistently even surface.

Pave can also be used figuratively. For example:

  • one immigrant tale about the United States of America was that “the streets are paved with gold.” This is not actually the case anywhere, but it is a metaphor for opportunity that awaited immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • When people talk about pioneers in a career field or an achievement, they talk about this person “paving the way for others.” What this means is, by doing the work in spite of setbacks and resistance, refusing to quit, and taking on new challenges until achievement has been reached, this person made it easier for others. They proved it could be done by someone of their income level, race, religion, caste, sexual orientation, etc.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Pavel hoped that Petra would accept the pavé ring he had for her this Christmas. It was a blend of their birthstones, with just a few diamonds in it. He made a modest salary working for the city. He was part of a crew that paved the streets and sidewalks, and trimmed the vegetation that lined them. Petra worked as a waitress and understudied in the city ballet for the principal dancer. 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Epiphany vs. Epinephrine

Epiphany and epinephrine 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.

Epiphany (epih-fuh-nee”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means a sudden discovery or realization.
  • As a proper noun, it means a holy day of obligation in Roman Catholicism and Orthodox churches. This feast, typically celebrated around January 6-12, recognizes the day the three wise men reached the holy family after Jesus Christ’s birth in Judeo-Christian belief. Each wise man brought a gift of a natural resource—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts symbolize attributes of Christ’s life.

As a proper noun, it’s always spelled with a capital first letter.

Epinephrine (“epp-ihn-nef-frihn”/UK: “epp-ihn-nef-reen”; sometimes spelled without the final “e”) is a noun with two meanings.

  • It can mean a chemical in the adrenal glands of the human body. These are found at the top of the kidneys. Adrenaline is another word for epinephrine.
  • It can mean a chemical taken from the adrenal glands of domestic livestock and made into prescription drugs and shots, aka pharmaceuticals.
    • Serious allergic reactions to bee stings, poison ivy, nut and other food allergies are life-threatening. For these situations, an “epi-pen” is vital to have on hand. The “epi” in its name is short for epinephrine.
    • It aids people with asthma and other circulatory and/or respiratory problems.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Epsworth was reading a book in the park. Suddenly a landscaper working near the shrubs collapsed to the ground. He got up and ran over to help. The landscaper said two gasping words, “bite, yellow jacket.” It was too hot for jackets outside. Epsworth had an epiphany, it was an allergic reaction. He dug an epinephrine pen out of his pocket and jammed it into the man’s outer mid-thigh. Epsworth asked bystanders to call EMS. After a few minutes, the man appeared to be doing much better.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Lagoon vs. Legume

Lagoon and legume 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.

Lagoon (pronounced “luh-goo-nn”; rhymes with balloon, raccoon) is a noun.

  • It can mean a smaller salty body of water separated from a larger one by dunes or another small strip of land.
  • It can also mean a site for industrial wastewater, city sewage, or other undesirable pollutants.

Legume (pronounced “leg-yoom”/”le-goom”; sounds like “legroom”) is a noun. It is another way of saying “bean plant.” These plants are used for feed, human consumption, and they also replenish the soil as the plant grows. Beans are native to the Americas.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Lagertha was relaxing by a lagoon in Lugubrya, munching roasted legumes and reading a thriller. Her friends from work had all gone on a luxurious Medallion cruise in a southern sea for a week, but she decided she would stay closer to home and take it easy. 

 

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Organza vs. Organizer

Organza and organizer 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.

Organza (pronounced “or-gan-zuh”; rhymes with bonanza) is a noun. It means a somewhat stiff, semi-translucent fabric made of nylon thread. For example, formal dresses can have an organza overlay. Fabric gift bags can be made of organza with glitter, lamé, or other print on it, or the organza is an overlay for an more opaque fabric.

Organizer (pronounced US: “or-guh-neye-zurr”; UK: “or-gah-neye-zah”) is a noun with multiple meanings.

  • It can mean a person who plans special events, i.e. party organizer, wedding organizer
  • It can mean a person who coordinates other for social or political causes.
  • It can mean a professional who literally helps others organize their home or business papers and/or possessions.
  • It can mean a leather, clothbound binder used for personal scheduling in the days before smartphones. New calendar inserts would have to be purchased every year. Personal photos and wallet type items might also be carried in a personal organizer.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Organa was the chief organizer for her first winter wedding. After assisting on multiple events for five years, her boss felt she was ready to be the lead on an event project. The theme was mystical midwinter’s night, with colors of cream white, midnight blue, and silver. Organa asked her staff to use lots of organza, LED string lights, and sprayed white branches to help achieve the ambience the bride desired for her big day.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Calendar vs. Calendula

Calendar and calendula 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.

Calendar (pronounced “kal-ihn-durr”; UK: “kal-ihn-dah”) is a noun.

  • It can mean a book of the 12 months laid out on a grid. It is printed on paper. Calendars have been used for tracking appointments, sporting events, birthdays, anniversaries. If the user looks at them or flips through them, he/she is reminded of upcoming holidays or deadlines, and avoids scheduling themselves for conflicting obligations.
  • Computer software and operating includes a calendar app for doing the same day and time tracking that printed calendars fulfill, but on a screen. The added bonus of is that a computer app reminds the user of what’s coming up if he/she wishes instead of the user stopping his/her actions to review his/her schedule.

Calendula (pronounced “kal-ihn-juh-luh”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it is a type of plant in the marigold family. Check out a video here.
  • As an adjective, it describes products made from this plant. For example: After work, I light a calendula candle and pour a glass of wine to decompress. I mute my phone, and for at least two hours I don’t look at a screen.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Calima had been invited to a party at Kalvin’s house, but she didn’t really want to go. When he called to ask if she would make it, she replied, “Sorry Kal, but my calendar says I need to get the calendulas planted.”