More Troublesome Words

Troublesome words fill the English language. Here are some more to add to your list of words to watch for.

pear/pair/pare

She preferred the pear to the apple. She loved pears so much that she took two from the bowl and ate the pair of them. They had some blemishes so she decided to pare them first.

peel/peal

Just as she took the peel off the pears, the church bells began to peal.

aural/oral

Her aural senses told her that the church bells rang twelve times. Since that meant it was lunch time, she gratified her oral senses by biting into the pears.

recipe/receipt

“I must get the recipe for that pear cake,” she thought. “But is it too expensive to make pear cake? I’ll check the receipt from the store to see how much I paid.”

continual/continuous

The sound of phones ringing was continual in the call center, but when the fire alarm rang, the shrill sound of it was continuous for several minutes.

principle/principal

The principles of gravity are fundamental truths. Isaac Newton learned of one of them in 1666 when an apple hit him on the head as he sat under an apple tree.

He went to the principal’s office to report this revelation about gravity. No one believed him at first, but he was determined and stuck to his principles as he minded his manners and insisted that he would be famous one day.

weary/wary

We walked for miles through the forest, and although weary we kept our eyes open and were wary of any strange rustling sounds in the bushes.

conscious/conscience/conscientious

I was conscious of the subtle pressure from my employer, but my conscience would not allow me to go along with his suggested illegal action.

At this point I think you have all been very conscientious if you are still with me.

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8 thoughts on “More Troublesome Words

  1. If even you struggle sometimes, then you know how I struggle even with simpler words. Thanks for the good lesson. I need it! Good thing that I am not a writer.

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    • Thanks for checking in, Jill. You’d be amazed at the errors I find in novels I read, and I sometimes wonder if it’s because I’m picky and a copy-editor, or if everyone is annoyed by these little mistakes in published work. And that is the deciding line for me – if you publish, it should be as perfect as possible. In unpublished work – a little typo or mistake is no big deal.

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  2. Pingback: Rufous-sided Towhee | wordsfromanneli

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