Uncategorized

I Take Requests

I just wanted readers to know I take requests for easily confused words.

Photo from Pexels, by Isabella Mendes.

If there is a comparison of one or two words I’ve missed blogging about, please share. Comment on this post. Thank you for reading!

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Easily Confused Words: Alms vs. Elms

Alms and elms 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.

Alms (pronounced “allmz;” rhymes with palms) is a plural noun. It means money or item donations, often made to people suffering or in poverty.

In the Islamic religion, it is the fourth pillar of the faith.

Elms (pronounced “ellmz;” rhymes with helms) is a plural noun. It is a species of tree found in the Americas and Europe. The bark has deep vertical burrows to it. Its leaves are almond-shaped with serrated edges. They grow in an alternating pattern from each branch.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Elmore was out running errands with his parents when he spied his friend, Ammar, serving food at a charity event. Ammar saw him and stepped away from the serving table for a few minutes.

“Hey Ammar, want to get yogurt with us?”

“I can’t, we’re serving until 3pm today. It’s only 11 now.”

“You have to work on a Saturday?”

“Yes. My whole family is here. We’re serving food for people who got flooded out of their homes after the last storm. This is the alms part of our faith. I have to get back, but, maybe we can play football later tonight.”

Elmore went back to his parents car, parked under some elm trees.

“Can Ammar not get yogurt with us today?”

“No, he’s busy working for his church.” Something felt awkward for Elmore, but he couldn’t pinpoint what it was.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Foliate vs. Folate

Foliate and folate 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.

Foliate (pronounced “foh-lee-ate”)

  • As a verb, it means:
    • To produce leaves
    • To cover or decorate in leaves
    • To divide into leaflike layers.
  • As an adjective, it describes:
    • something covered in or having leaves
    • something having a leaf-like shape.

Folate (pronounced “foh-layt;” rhymes with collate) is a noun. It is another names for folic acid, a B vitamin necessary for healthy development of DNA and cell division.

For example, pregnant women are encouraged to eat more folate for the best development for a growing fetus, avoiding developmental disorders like spina bifida.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Sitting on a porch of a rental house on Folly Beach, Florence chewed a folate gummy vitamin and sipping a decaf latte. She was going to go paddle boarding one last time before flying home. Winter was slipping away. Tulips and camellias were blooming. The trees were budding and beginning to foliate. The air was full of promise and possibilities.

She had some news to tell her family when she got back. After five years together, and a brief engagement, she and her fiancé, Latham, had broken up. She would go ahead and have the baby on her own.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Birch vs. Britches

Birch and britches are easily confused words.

Birch (pronounced “buhrr-ch;” rhymes with lurch, perch) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means a species of tree found in colder parts of North America. They are native to Canada, and in the US, to New England, the upper Midwest, and Alaska. Birches are distinctive for their peeling bark and small, almond-shaped leaves with sawed edges. While some trees have varying colors in autumn, birches have one autumn color: saffron yellow. Check out a slideshow here.
  • As an adjective, it describes items made from birch wood, leaves, etc. For example, birch furniture or birch beer.
  • As a verb, it means to punish someone by whipping them with a bundle of birch branches. This is an antiquated use.

Britches (pronounced “briht-chihz;” rhymes with snitches, stitches, itches) is an old-fashioned word for pants, like breeches. It is used in the idiom, “too big for your britches,” which is saying a person has a big ego, or is acting with more authority than one really has.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Bernard had a secret thrill. Long after everyone on their Connecticut farm had gone to sleep, he got up and went for a swim. Sneaking quietly through the birch trees, he reached the shoreline. He tossed off his shirt and britches in a pile, and jumped in. The water was cool and refreshing. The moonlight was silver and sparkled on the water’s surface. The forest was quiet other than owl calls, and he had it all to himself.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Cuzco vs. Couscous

Cuzco and couscous 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.

Cuzco (also spelled “Cusco;” pronounced “kooz-koh”) is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Andes Mountains. On the continent of South America, Peru is located on the upper west coast. Cuzco is the ancient capital of the Incas. Machu Picchu, a kingdom in the mountains, is a popular tourist site. See images and points of interest about Cuzco here.

Couscous (pronounced “kooskoos”) is a noun. It is a food term. Couscous are small round balls of pasta that are boiled. Couscous were originally a staple food in Middle Eastern and North African dishes. Like pasta, it can be dried and it is shelf-stable, so its appeal as an ingredient is global. Check out a video of a chef making it here, and Chef Lola using it in a recipe here.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Crusan had attended college in Aruba, and ended up in Cuzco. After apprenticing for a chef at a Middle Eastern restaurant, he wanted to open his own place. He didn’t have a lot of money or contacts for a brick and mortar location or to hire a staff. To get started, he envisioned a food truck, serving two different hot dishes over a bed of couscous, eaten out of a cardboard cup.

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Repository vs. Suppository

Repository and suppository 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.

Repository (pronounced US: “ree-paws-ih-tohr-ee”/ UK: “ree-paws-ih-tree”) has multiple meanings.

As a noun: A tactile form of information storage is a library, museum, or other archives of books, papers, and other materials.

  • It means a tactile or virtual form of information storage.
  • A virtual form of information storage is a database or the internet.

As an adjective, it can be used be a person to describe their intelligence and/or resourcefulness on a topic. It is similar to comparing oneself to an encyclopedia before the internet was in common use.

Suppository (pronounced “suh-paws-uh-tohr-ee”) is a noun. It is a pharmaceutical word. It means a dissolving pill that is taken rectally (anally) or vaginally in order to work. Suppositories are useful for ailments in the bowels or vagina. They are also useful for patients like babies and older patients that cannot or will not chew or swallow a pill.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Occasionally the security guard, Subira, liked to have fun with student interns at the hospital on their first day.

“I was tasked with finding this file.”

“You’ll have to consult the suppository about that, 3rd floor.”

“That sounds odd. Are you sure?”

“I’ve worked here 15 years, do you think I don’t know my way around here? Just ask the secretary on the 3rd floor when you get off the elevator,” Subira said.

The student does as their told, asks the secretary where the suppository is, and he looks askance. “You mean repository. It’s down at the end of the hall.”

When the student came back downstairs, sometimes they asked why she told them the wrong thing. “No, I said repository. You kids today have your mind in the gutter.”

Easily Confused Words

Easily Confused Words: Emphatic vs. Empathic

Emphatic and empathic 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.

Emphatic (pronounced “ihm-fat-icks”) is an adjective. It describes someone doing something with emphasis or intensity.

  • For example, a person might be an emphatic speaker about charities or causes they are passionate about, like the climate crisis, fighting corruption, or fighting poverty.
  • In another example, a person wrongfully accused emphatically denies what they’ve been accused of.

Empathic (pronounced “ihm-path-ick”) is an adjective. Used similarly to “empathetic,” both words describe someone who feels others pain and grief, and communicates and emotes in ways that express that.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Embre was accused of not being more empathic towards his sister, who was sad after a bad breakup. “She can’t sulk around forever, why do I have to do her chores for the third day in a row? I have a life, you know.”

“I’ll take the garbage to the curb. Can you just take her to the movies so she gets out of her funk?”

Well, that was doable.

“Ambrea, we’re going to the movies. That new space thriller is out.”

“I don’t care. Go without me.”

“I call bullshit. You read the book twice. Besides Mom wants you to go.”

In the distance their Mom called, emphatic and loud tone, “AMBREA GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND GO WITH YOUR BROTHER.”

“Fiiiinnneee. I’ll be right out.” Her eyes looked a little red, but otherwise she seemed okay. They drove to the theater in silence. He wanted to tell her Ted wasn’t worth all the upset, but he decided against it.