Over on Daily Writing Tips,
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Top 10 Confused English Words [U-Z]
Having come to the end of the alphabet with my series of “words often confused with one another,” I find myself hard-pressed to come up with a final set of ten for the remaining letters, U-Z. I can’t think of any for U or Z, but here are some for V, W, and Y.
1. vane / vain / vein
All three sound alike and speakers know what they mean when they say them. The confusion arises with the spellings.
INCORRECT: A cupola sat astride the angled wedge of the rooftop, sporting a beautiful gold colored weather vain.
CORRECT: A cupola sat astride the angled wedge of the rooftop, sporting a beautiful gold colored weather vane.
INCORRECT: If we cut one of our vains what chance do we have to live?
CORRECT: If we cut one of our veins what chance do we have to live?
vane noun: a blade that rotates
vain adjective: 1. hopeless: “She continues to harbor a vain desire to write a novel that will make her rich.”
2. having an excessively high opinion of one’s own appearance, attainments, qualities, or possessions: “He is especially vain about his hair.”
vein noun: the tubular vessels in which the blood is conveyed through the animal body.
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