Blog: Words For Thought
Blog: Words For Thought
Typos Hurt Your Writing: Fink, Gink, Jink, Kink, Link, Mink, Oink, Pink, Rink, Sink, Tink, Vink, and Wink
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 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!
These words all have the common root of INK. This word refers to a colored fluid that is permanent and used for art or commercial instruments such as contracts. We sign a contract with ink not pencil, so it cannot be changed. Her pen and ink drawing of the Eiffel Tower is very popular.
These other words have very little to do with ink other than the letters.
Fink is a person that most people do not like. A person that reveals the identity of wrongdoers to authorities, a snitch or tattletale. It can also mean that a person lacked courage to do the right thing. It is an informal word, not quite slang. It translates from German as a small bird, a finch. It has been around for hundreds of years and has seen steady growth in usage since the early 1800’s.
Gink is another informal word. It means a foolish or contemptible person. Someone who is out of step with the style of the day or has unusual mannerisms. It seems to be strictly an American word in origin.
Jink is an action term. It refers to a sudden change of direction. It is used frequently in describing air to air combat evasive maneuvers. It comes from Scotland and implies nimble moves. It has not seen common usage for a long time.
Kink is a sharp twist or turn, like in a road or path. It can also mean damage to a tube that carries fluids, a constriction. It can also be a problem with a plan or process. It can refer to a quirk in someone’s behavior. It can be a soreness or stiffness in a back or neck. It comes to us from Dutch and Low German several hundred years ago, and has seen ever increasing usage in the last century or so.
Link refers to a relationship between two or more things. It can include societal or professional organizations, it can be a means of communication or travel. It can be one part of a chain or series. Associated to the word hypertext it is important for computing and the internet. It has roots in Germanic, Old Norse and Late Middle English. Only within the last 50 years has the usage increased dramatically.
Mink is a small carnivorous animal common in North America and the Eurasian continent. It is related to weasels and stoats. It is highly prized by some people for its soft fur. It can also refer to an article of clothing made from the pelts of the animal. It comes from Swedish into Late Middle English, and its popularity peaked around 1950.
Oink is the squealing and grunting sound a pig makes. This is an imitative word, meant to represent the vocalizations of a pig. It became popular in the 1940’s.
Pink is a word with many different meanings from different eras and fields of endeavors. First, it is a color made by combining red with white pigment. It can refer to a rose` wine. It can be used to describe a person’s health in terms of cheek color. Informally, in the last century, it could mean a person supporting left-wing politics, or a homosexual. It is the name of a small Eurasian plant with sweet smelling flowers that are pink or white. A tailor or seamstress might use pinking shears that create a zigzag edge in material or cloth. To slightly pierce or nick someone with a weapon. A small ship with square sails and a narrow, overhanging stern.
Rink is pretty straight forward. It means a building containing a smooth area for ice skating or roller skating. It can also refer to the actual space within the building for these activities and more such as hockey or curling.
Sink has several definitions also. It refers to a fixed basin with a water supply and drain. It can also refer to a marshy area of a river where the water slowly disappears. It can mean to submerge or go below the surface. The ship will sink when the torpedo hits. The idea of dropping or descending is included, my head sank into my pillow as I went to sleep. Different concepts have come to us from Germanic, German, Dutch, English, and Old English. After a long decline, it has recently seen more usage.
Tink is the sound of gently flowing water as in the tinkling sounds of the fountain were quite relaxing. It is also the nickname of Tinkerbelle. We also have the itinerant tinker of the 19th century, a person traveling from town to town, who could repair many different kinds of durable goods made from metal.
Vink is very esoteric. It refers to Kroger-Vink notation. It is a mathematical language used to describe certain aspects of crystals used for electronics.
Wink is much easier, children love this. It is to close and open one eye quickly. It implies a secret or joke between two people. It can also be a signal. It can also mean to not notice or observe something purposefully. The foreman winked at the illegal activity.
There they are, fourteen 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.
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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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