Breadth and bread 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.
Breadth (pronounced “brehd-th”) is an adjective. It describes a dense amount of something, a high quantity of something, or a wide scope of a subject matter.
Bread (pronounced “brehd”) has multiple meanings.
As a noun:
- It can mean a baked good made from flour, salt and water. Other ingredients may be included, like a leavener (i.e., baking soda, yeast). There may also be spices, herbs, vegetables, fruit, etc. It depends upon the recipe and what meal the bread is used for. In the US, fruit breads are breakfast, dessert, snack, and holiday fare. Vegetable, leavened, and unleavened bread are meal or side dishes for meals.
- In mid-20th century slang, it has meant money. Dough is used similarly.
- As a proper noun, it means a US mellow rock band from the 1970s.
As a verb:
- It means to coat a piece of raw meat or vegetables in a wet layer of batter, then a dry layer of breadcrumbs or flour. For example:
- is how fried chicken and country fried steak are prepared before frying in a pan or a vat of hot oil.
- It is also how the eggplant is prepared for Eggplant (aka, aubergine) Parmesan.
The following story uses both words correctly:
Briony was writing about the history of fried foods around the world. She wanted to cover the full breadth of the topic as no one had dared to before. Lately, she was researching alternative flours used in breading meat or vegetables. She traveled to other continents to learn about these techniques firsthand. Next up was Brazil, which used manioc, coconut, and tapioca.