Tuesday Tricksters, October 4, Knot-Koi
Here we go again! Another episode featuring those tricky words in English that can make any writer look bad.
Homophones are words that sound alike -- or nearly so -- but are spelled differently and mean something different. Even the best writers can make an error if they're not watching closely, especially if they're trusting spellcheck.
Let's all remember that spellcheck does one thing, and one thing only: it corrects spelling. It does not and probably never will correct usage. That's the writer's job. We need to be alert, so we look and sound as smart as we are.
Knot (n.): a securely tied up string or ribbon; a place where a tree limb joins the trunk; a cross-grained circular part on some boards; or a unit of sped of one nautical mile; (v.): to tie up securely
Naught (n.): nonexistence; nothingness; the figure 0; a cipher; a zero; (pron.): nothing: All their work was for naught.
Not (adv.): in no way; to no degree; used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition: I will not go. You may not have any.
Know (v.): to understand; to be familiar with
No (adv.): the opposite of yes; used to express denial or negation; (inter.): to express disbelief or refusal: No! I will not do that!
Knows (v.): understands
Noes (n.): plural of no: How many yesses and how many noes did we have?
Nose (n.): the part of the face used for breathing and smelling odors; (v.): to poke into things (to nose around); to find by using the sense of smell
Kohl (n.): a dark powder used as eye makeup, especially in Eastern countries
Coal (v.): a dark brown to black graphitelike material used as a fuel
Cole (n): cabbage; a plant of the Brassica genus (rape and coleseed)
Koi (n.): a large, colorful variety of carp (Cyprinus carpio) bred mostly in Japan for display in ornamental ponds
Coy (adj.): affecting innocence or shyness, esp. in a playful or coquettish manner
(You can find more definitions of these words at www.yourdictionary.com.)
Were any of these words new to you?
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