Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.com. Like many of the previous blogs we are looking at homophones. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
As the Hyper-Speller at Word Refiner, I understand how important it is to have an error free manuscript. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and difficulties. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word. The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. The Hyper-Speller at Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find these invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.
Now onto todays episode!
Three of these four words are in pretty common usage for people. One is used in the names of stores or places. The fourth word is quite limited in use, it has a very specific meaning. They have a common ancestry from Old English and Germanic roots. These words have been with us for a long time. I do not see that changing anytime in the near future.
Ware is a word that may not seem familiar at first glance. But it is widely used in different forms, it has three main definitions; so let’s look closer. Pottery ware can be bought at many places, it can be used to contain food or other items. There is also crystal ware, dinnerware, and others. This refers to things of a specific type or use. Items offered for sale are stored in a warehouse. These are noun forms.
We are often admonished to be on guard, be aware, or most commonly beware. It means we are to take care and observe what is happening, be careful. Especially when using free Wi-Fi, beware of doing any banking.
Ware has an archaic form also. The archaic form has the idea of being cognizant of your surroundings and events.
Wear is such a common word, we do not even give it a second thought, but it also has multiple definitions and used as noun and verb, depending on the context. Primarily a verb, having to do with clothing, personal decorations and styles. What are you going to wear to the party? We wear clothing, hats and tattoos. We wear or adopt certain hairstyles. He always wears a scowl, nobody ever sees him smile.
The secondary verb form refers to damage or destruction cause by rubbing or erosion of some type. Because the parking brake was left on while driving, there was considerable wear on the brake shoes. It can also be used in a positive sense. The front door mat is wearing well because everyone uses the back door.
Functioning as a noun, the things we have or will have on. Business Casual wear is necessary for this lecture and lunch. I think that black suit will be great evening wear for the party.
Weir is the most unusual of these homonyms. It has a very limited and specific use. Dam or fence. It is a noun and refers to a low dam to control flowing water, or it is a style of fish trap in the water; it looks like a fence.
Where is an adverb. It refers to a position, perspective or point of view. It can be part of a question or a declaration, it is widely used and has been for a long time. Where would we be without adverbs? Where did he get that car? Where do you plan on getting the financing? This is where I live. Sit where I can see you both. Having met his family, I can see where he got his smarts.
There they are, four words with identical sounds, unrelated history and definitions. If you choose the wrong word the reader will feel like they hit a spot of turbulence while flying in your book. Do all in your power to preserve the flow of imagination you worked so hard to construct. Do not give your readers a reason to close your book. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to be certain your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more alerts about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting on twitter. Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on our website. We offer another service at a great value, see the “Review Your Book” tab.
Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
Typos Hurt Your Writing: Ail, Bail, Dail, Fail, Gail, Hail, Jail, Kail, Mail, Nail, Pail, Rail, Sail, Tail, Vail, Wail, and Zail
Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.weebly.com. Like some of the previous blogs we are exploring typographical errors. Words that look almost the same, but have different spellings and meanings. To find more use the hashtag: #TyposHurtYourWriting.
I understand how important it is to have a manuscript free of spelling errors. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that typos give many writers problems. Less than perfect typing can create hidden errors. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as came, dame, fame and game. The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. The Hyper-Speller at Word Refiner is dedicated to exposing all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.
Now, onto today’s episode!
Do not let it Ail you! Wow! We have 17 words that end in AIL! That means you have 16 chances out of 17 to type the wrong word and the spellchecker will miss it. I hope that by focusing our attention on this group of words your writing will never suffer from this typographical error.
Ail means to sicken or afflict, make trouble for.
Bail is what we use to get out of jail until our day in court. It can also mean to get excess water out of our boat so we don’t sink. Let’s not forget the handle on our bucket is called a bail also.
Dail is an obscure word referring to the lower house of Parliament when the Irish Republic was formed in the early 20th century. I wonder if Scrabble would accept it.
Fail is the opposite of winning. Some say a second place finish is the first loser.
Gail is a name taken from Hebrew that means joy.
Hail is frozen rain, it weighs too much to stay in the cumulonimbus clouds in the sky. It also means to call or get attention. You will want to hail a cab if you are in the hail.
Jail is a place where most of us would rather not be. That is when we use bail to get out temporarily.
Kail is a green leafy vegetable that is very popular in some quarters; okay, you got me, this is an alternate spelling of kale.
Mail is something that makes us feel special when we get it. Somebody cared enough to send us something. Unless it is unsolicited advertising or bills.
Nail is something used to attach two pieces of wood together. It is also the hard smooth surface on our fingertip.
Pail is a bucket. We can use a pail to bail water out of the boat.
Rail is a handle to help us go up or down stairs. A pair is necessary for the train to ride on.
Sail is used by non-motorized boats to travel on the water.
Tail is the south end of a north bound dog. A tail can tell you a lot about what a dog is thinking.
Vail is an archaic word that means to take off your hat or crown to show respect. It is also a popular ski town in Colorado.
Wail means to cry loudly or with a high pitch, in extreme grief. If you can’t bail your boat fast enough with your pail then you should wail loudly for help!
Zail is another old word. It refers to an administrative unit of villages in India during the British rule.
There they are, seventeen words with similar sounds and the same last three letters. If you use the wrong word the reader might feel like they tripped over an invisible string and close your book, because it is too hard to figure out what you are saying. Do everything in your power to prevent that from happening, do not give your reader a reason to close your book. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Typos Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner; for more Hazardous Homophones and Terrible Typos search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
Don’t forget the free offer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on our website. We offer another service at a great value, see the “Review Your Book” tab.
Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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