Thursday, August 9, 2012

Still More Confusables

And the hits just keep on coming. Here's a new list of misused/misspelled words from this month's reading:

1. Principal/Principle. A principal works in a school and has the principal job in keeping the kids safe and educated. Heros have principles.
2. Used to/Supposed to. Let's remember that "d" at the end there, kids, okay? Please. You're supposed to know this stuff.
3. Compliment/Complement. If someone tells you that your shoes complement your purse, that's a compliment.
4. Iced tea. Not ice tea--unless you're icing it as we speak. Even if it's a Long Island Iced Tea. (Especially if it's a Long Island Iced Tea.)
5. Capital/Capitol. The congressman visits the Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Whether he's from the capital of his state, has lots of capital to spend on his campaign, or uses capital letters for his monogram, it's all the same.
6. Illicit/Elicit. Having an illicit affair will elicit gossip from your neighbors.
7. Taut/Taught. Something that's pulled tightly is taut. Your English teacher should have taught you that.
8. Peddle/Pedal/Petal. When you realize you're wrong you might backpedal. The guy who works the kiosk in the mall peddles his goods. The florist might spray glitter on the flower petals.
9. Tortuous/Torturous. Oh, the difference one letter can make! Torturous has to do with torture. Tortuous is wending/winding. Think about the tortuous way a contortionist moves his body. I wonder if his muscles feel tortured.
10. Palate/Palette/Pallet. The five-star chef has a discerning palate (refers to the roof of the mouth). An artist dabs his paints on a palette. During medieval times, the characters might sleep on a pallet. In modern days, the supermarket brings the pallet of canned peaches from the backroom to be placed on the shelves.

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