Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Here is a useful list of words that editors and writers need to know. This list comes directly from The Copyeditor's Handbook, the textbook for the copyediting certificate program I'm enrolled in on-line. (It makes me self-conscious, so many rules! But hopefully it will make me a better writer and editor).

Commonly confused homophones. (def: homophones are words that  are pronounced identically or quite similarly but that are spelled differently. e.g. to, two, too; there, their; etc.)
accept - except
adverse - averse
affect - effect
allusive - elusive - illusive
ascent - assent
baited - bated
bazaar - bizarre
canvas - canvass
capital - capitol
censure - censor - sensor
complement - compliment
disc - disk
discreet - discrete
eminent - immanent - imminent
ensure - insure
gorilla - guerrilla
grisly - grizzly
hoard - horde
incidence - incidents
mantle - mantel
palate - palette - pallet
rack - wrack
review - revue
troop - troupe
undo - undue

The differences between the definitions of these words are often as subtle as the difference in spelling or sound. Sometimes, though, the meanings are wildly different, and getting them mixed up can cause a lot of confusion!

What other homophones do you know? Take a few minutes and look up and learn the definitions of each of these words... the more you know, the better you'll be at your craft!


  1. I needed this list. Thanks. I have such a hard time with some of these. :)

  2. Thank you for the list - a useful exercise!


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