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.”



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