Billed and build 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.
Billed (“bih-lld;” rhymes with pilled, willed, filled) is the past tense of the verb “bill.” To bill is to send an invoice or payment request for services or products rendered. So “billed” indicates that a person or business was sent a payment request in the past, or a paying provider, like an insurance company, was sent such a request.
Build (“bihld”) has multiple meanings.
- As a verb, it means to construct something.
- As a noun, it can mean:
- A structure’s style or characteristics
- A person’s body, for example: “she has a slight build,” “he had an athletic build”
- In computers and IT, it can mean turning source code into a standalone, functioning program.
The following story uses both words correctly:
Billa had just wrapped another software build with her team. As a contractor, she was trying to remember if she billed last month’s clients. Work was steady, but it was getting harder to do all herself.
Just at that moment, Ms. Brianna brought over some pie. She was a new stay at home mom, she had adopted her grandchild. Billa made some coffee for both of them.
“I guess I have some accounting ahead of me,” said Billa. I can’t remember if I sent invoices or not.”
“You know I love my grandbaby Izzy, but I am about to climb the wall over there. I would be glad to do your books during her naptime, Billa. I’ve done accounting for years.”
“Oh my god, that would be a lifesaver. Thank you so much. This pie is amazing, by the way.”
“Thank you but I didn’t make this one. It’s a chocolate bourbon caramel from Blumfeld’s on the corner.”