I found a typo in the newspaper the other day. This isn’t the first time but this was in a headline, for crying out loud. “Water, Fertilize, Breath Better.” Total facepalm (they did correct it in the online edition, I’m pleased to note).
The synonym for inhale is breathe, not breath. I often see these words interchanged. Not usually in newspapers, though.
Breath is a noun. It can belong to me or you or that guy over there. It can be cold or hot or smell like garlic. But it can’t be what you are doing. You can’t breath! It makes no sense, unless you’re vaporous, partially carbon dioxide and effusing throughout the room.
Breathe is the verb, what you do. You can “take a deep breath” or “breathe deep.” But note the difference! You take (verb) a breath (noun), like you take a nap. You breathe (verb), like you nap.[Yes, I'm aware this is coming from someone who can’t be trusted to spell a name correctly. No need to point that out.]
Man, I think this post should be listed under the Language of Confusion moniker. It’s not etymology, but it sure is confusing! I wonder if other languages have homophones or near homophones that are two different types of words.
Okay. Rant is done. I’ll go back in my cage now. Hey, it’s Saturday. This isn’t going to be freaking WAR AND PEACE.