Thursday, November 6, 2014

Easy to Confuse

Easily confused words this week! Because I’ve been busy and don’t have time to do all the research for the Language of Confusion.

Did someone mention this one to me? If so, I forgot to note it down, sorry :P. Anyway, hoard and horde, which would make good words to etymologize. As far as I know, horde (a crowd) can only be a noun, while hoard (store or stockpile) can be a noun and a verb. Just remember: zombies come in hordes. Both end in e. Well, technically e-s, but that’s only because they’re plural.

I know I saw this one somewhere and it made me want to reach through the internet and shake whoever did it. These ones aren’t even homophones! Lose is the opposite of win, loose is the opposite of tight. Now if I could only get everyone on the internet to read this post.

Okay, this one is just something I do all the time. I always, always write entice with an i, and then it autocorrects to incite, which is an actual word, unlike intice. I have no idea why I do this. I suppose I should be more forgiving of people who screw up lose and loose…

This is another one I see all the time. Both refer to air going in and out of the lungs, but one is a noun, the other is the verb. People forget the e, not knowing how important it is. It’s so magical that it changes the “ea” from sounding like “eh” to sounding like “ee”. I guess it’s linguistomancy.

And finally we have another word that I will mix up if I don’t stop to think about it. Bare is the more narrow word, referring to things that are empty or exposed. Bear can be an animal, or a verb for withstanding/carrying and several other applications. Basically, I usually want bear.

Do you have any words that you mix up or always get wrong? What do you do to keep words straight when you’re writing?


  1. I remember the e in breathe because that word is in the title of one of my favorite Pink Floyd songs. Whatever it takes to remember, right?

  2. I have to watch myself when I write the past tense of drag. I know it's 'dragged,' but I sometimes write 'drug' when I'm in a hurry. Some homophone sets (such as palate, pallet, and palette) I just have to look up.

  3. I have to think about farther and further before I write the word.

  4. I see so much misuse of lose versus loose in social media, and it makes me think the comment was written by a dullard who took four years to get through grade three.

  5. Here you go (because this thought is amusing me, now):
    Stupid people shouldn't breath.

  6. The lose/loose error makes me crazy. I see it way too frequently. As well as breath/breathe. I suppose I should get a life, huh?

    So, the other day in class, a student asked me about barely. The topic was adverbs, and she wanted to know how we got from bare to barely, since the definitions don't seem to relate even though the words are so close. I told her good point, but I had no other answer for her.

  7. Horde/Hoard sometimes confuses me, but I'm okay with the rest.

  8. I get confused sometimes on the past tense of certain words :) Have a great weekend!


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