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.
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.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as vary and very, or must, mist and most.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve.
Now, onto today’s episode!
Three common words in the English language. Like so many other words, these have been borrowed from another language. We own them now.
Homophones present an interesting problem for a lot of people, because homophones are words that sound alike. When we read, we are saying the words “aloud” in our mind; we know what we are reading and it makes sense. When we write, we are operating in the same fashion; reading out loud in our mind, and it is easy to choose the wrong word if you are not paying close attention. Most spellcheckers have an inherent weakness, (God bless the person who invented the spell checker!), and they will not flag the correctly spelled word in the wrong context. Voila! You have a hidden spelling error because the spellchecker will not see it as wrong. Some people, who are not good spellers, may or may not notice the error when reading. The rest of us will feel like we just hit a speed bump without warning! I find these spelling errors and others in 95% of published books. What was a great ride suddenly became uncomfortable, and the pure pleasure of reading was marred. Fresh Eyes is one solution to this problem. See my other blog about Fresh Eyes for more information.
Now, on to the game!
Confident is a great word, it comes from 16th century France, and it means having Full and Complete Trust. All three of these words are derived from an identical Latin root.
An adjective, it brings texture and color to a subject. A carpenter is confident in his skill to fix the broken table. I am confident the pilot can land the plane safely.
Confidant and Confidante are nouns and from the French language also. They mean a person that you share your most private and important secrets with. The former is considered masculine, while the latter is feminine. You are sharing with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, depending on which form you choose.
There they are, three words with identical sounds and a somewhat related history. If you use the wrong word the reader might think they hit an unknown speed bump and lose the momentum you worked so hard to build. Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to not finish your story. 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 Homophones Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more alerts about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on twitter.
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Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
Copyright © 2015 Mark L Schultz
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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