Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.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 on Twitter 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 these invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.
Now, onto today’s episode!
We have stumbled upon a nice group of words, oil words. There are ten four letter words that end in oil. Some of the words are obscure and I hope they won’t create a slipping hazard! Put some hiking boots on and keep a walking stick in your hand, here we go!
Boil is a common and curious word; it is a noun and serves as a verb, there is also a regional definition. The boil point of a liquid is reached when it begins changing from a liquid to a vapor. Refrigeration and air conditioning depend on special liquids that achieve change of state at specific temperature points. Boiling water is used in cooking a great deal, as well as making our favorite hot beverages. Stormy weather can be described by clouds that are boiling. A fish that rises quickly to the surface to get a fly is said to boil the water. In Louisiana, a seafood boil is a picnic conducted outdoors, on the beach most often. Medically, a skin boil is swollen and filled with pus.
Coil has many uses, it can be a rope that is arranged into concentric rings or even stacked. Constrictor type snakes use their body to coil around a victim and squeeze the life out before ingesting, mama snake always tells the babies, “play with your food before you eat”. An electrical transformer has many coils of wire to adjust the voltage. An archaic definition is confusion and turmoil.
Foil first means to prevent something nefarious from happening. A hunted animal that runs in circles will confuse the tracking dogs and prevent their success. Aluminum foil is used to cover food and to cook food in sometimes. A person or thing that brings substantial contrast to another and emphasizes the qualities of the second is a foil. It is an architectural term from the European Gothic style. It is also a light weight fencing sword without sharp edges.
Goil is a mixture of gasoline and oil for chainsaws and other portable power tools. The ratio is determined by the needs of the equipment.
Moil is an archaic word, not in common use any longer. It conveys the idea of people who work in mud all the day. Seriously hard work and pure drudgery. It has fallen out of common use since the early 1800’s. Now people pay good money to bathe in mud.
Noil was very common in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It referred to the short fibers and knots that were removed from wool or silk before it was spun into thread.
Poil is a yarn or thread made from silk and used for ribbons and other decorations.
Roil describes water that is muddy because something stirred up the sediment on the bottom. It also describes water that is impacted by flooding or high winds.
Soil is dirt first. A mixture of sand, decaying organic matter and small rock. It is also the territory of a nation or region. An embassy in a foreign country is considered to be native soil of that embassy. It also means to make dirty or stain, a child that plays outside is very likely to soil their clothes. It can mean to tarnish the reputation of something or someone. Farmers, in the early 1700’s, would feed their cattle fresh cut greens to purge the digestive tract before slaughter.
Toil is hard work, no getting around it. Exhausting hard work, nearly intolerable drudgery, mind-numbing back breaking labor. Did I mention it is hard work?
There they are, ten words with similar sounds and the same last three letters. If you use the wrong word the reader might feel like they have a flat tire and the drive just got real bumpy as they cruise through your book. They may feel like leaving your story, 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 and #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
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Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
Copyright © 2016 Mark L Schultz
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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