Reputable and repudiate 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.
Reputable (pronounced “rep-yuh-tuh-buhl”) is an adjective. It describes someone who comes highly recommended, someone with a lot of integrity, someone that does a great job at the things he/she undertakes.
- Yelp and Zomato use crowdsourcing to connect new diners with the most reputable restaurants in their current area. Criteria includes excellent food, attentive service, and an appealing atmosphere.
- Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor use crowdsourcing to connect homeowners with house repair and utility professionals, like reputable plumbers, gutter cleaners, and home remodeling contractors.
Repudiate (pronounced “ruh-pew-dee-ate”) is a verb. It means to negatively respond to offers or claims by others.
- A local Roman Catholic clergyman repudiated claims by a woman that he was her father. A DNA test proved she was correct.
- The defendant in a murder trial repudiated claims that she murdered her spouse. A money trail and a hired assailant proved she was guilty and stood to make a lot of money from a life insurance claim on her partner in the event that person died.
The following story uses both words correctly:
“Who is this Rodriguez guy? When has he served? He has no experience. He’s not reputable!” Reggie could feel his blood pressure rising. His daughter’s new boyfriend, Gerard, was asked to dinner and being an outspoken guest. Gerard had fiercely held viewpoints for a young man of 25. He repudiated every one of Reggie’s points about candidate Thomason, and Reggie wasn’t used to the pushback.
“A lot’s changed in 40 years, Mr. Johnson. The parties aren’t almost the same. That may have been true for a long time, but it’s not anymore. Thomason is giving away the store and lying to people about it. Mrs. Johnson, thank you for making a lovely dinner, but I’ve lost my appetite. I think I should leave for now.”
He turned to his girlfriend. “Good night, Regina. I’ll see you tomorrow at class.”