Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Sentient vs. Satiate

Sentient and satiate 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.

Sentient (pronounced “sihn-tee-ihnt”) is an adjective. It describes someone possessing intelligence and sanity.

Satiate (pronounced “say-she-ate”) is a verb. It means to be fill someone’s stomach with food or drink. More figuratively, it can mean to satisfy, to capture someone’s interest and keep it.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Sengah knew her students were sentient beings despite their restlessness, easy distractability, and rudeness in her math class. She started getting them on their feet and doing a flash mob type dance in unison to perk up their circulation. Then it was diving into the day’s lesson. The night before she came up with intriguing scenarios that used math to satiate their interest. 

 

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