Thursday, June 13, 2013

There are Still More Words that are Easy to Confuse

Is it that time again already? I feel like I’ve just done this, but sometimes I see a word and go “no, that’s not what it’s supposed to be” and then I go a little crazy. Well, crazier.

I think this is another one Lizmentioned months ago. If you’ll remember my post about “nothing”, aught is a version of the word naught that got the n dropped off. But it’s also a completely different word that means “anything whatever”, “any part”, or “at all”. Then we have ought, which basically means should. How do you tell them apart? Um…you know what? People don’t use them much anymore. Let’s just erase them both from existence. That should do it.

Darn homophones. They make everything so confusing. But taught is what a teacher does (in the past tense). Taut is what a rope does. A teacher with a rope has taught with a taut piece of line. You don’t mess with that teacher.

Although the ea digraph has a few different pronunciations (think of read or lead), the ee one only has one, the long e, and because wreak is like the present tense read, these two are also homophones. Reek goes with smell (two e’s, two l’s), and wreak goes with havoc (no clever way to remember this one, sorry, but it has nothing to do with odor so you should be able to keep them straight that way). And for bonus confusion, there’s also wreck.

If a hotel offers a “Bridle Suite” be very suspicious. See, bridle is what goes on a horse. Bridal is what has to do with a wedding. I always thought these words were confusing because bridle has an e in it like bride, but it was pretty easy to train myself to remember which is which. Sadly, I’ve seen evidence that not everyone has done this…


The annoying part of these words is that they sound nothing alike. Deck-a-dent and de-see-dent, because c is an annoying letter that sounds like both kuh and suh and we should just get rid of it. Always, always double check them (and I’m talking to myself here, but feel free to do so yourself).


  1. Agree with you about the letter C. LOL

    But, then again, we couldn't have Tres Leches cake if we did that. Hmm... :P

  2. I like "ought," and I do use it. You ought to have more respect for it.

  3. Just when I thought there were no more easily confused words, I dive back into the self-published stuff (what can I say? I'm a sucker for a freebie), and I'm amazed at some of the wrong words used.

  4. Ack. For me it's just lay/lie. Thanks so much for not forgetting us and for stopping by for a rare post! (Could I have used the word 'for' any more in this comment? Jeepers. Christy


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