Anonymity and anemone 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.
Anonymity (pronounced “ann-awn-ihm-it-tee”) is a noun. It means the state of being unknown, or remaining unidentified.
- Whistleblowers and witnesses to a crime might initially seek anonymity when reporting a crime or a problem. This is to avoid backlash, harassment, and retaliation by the accused or their allies.
- Social media websites initially allowed commenters to have anonymity when posting comments. Unfortunately, in practice, this feature enabled harassment and obnoxious behavior by people who couldn’t be held accountable. Sites have learned the hard way that users must create an account, and must log in, in order to make a comment. If a user behaves problematically, their account can be disabled.
Anemone (pronounced “uh-nih-muh-nee”) is a noun.
- On land, it can mean a flowering plant in the buttercup family. Anemones have oval-shaped petals in a variety of colors. The centers of the flowers are either green and yellow, or black.
- In the ocean, it means a stationary aquatic creature. It eats by stinging prey with cells in its finger-like tentacles. It uses the tentacles to pull their victim’s paralyzed body into the mouth. Check out a video here.
The following story uses both words correctly:
Andriel replanted 1000 anemones in the center of town after the initial planting by the local garden club was destroyed by an overnight reckless driver. It was thought someone would have witnessed the crime, but the culprit was able to maintain their anonymity for many years. The town installed speed bumps and hidden cameras.