Friendly confusion

It’s easy to confuse words that sound similar. Most editing textbooks have lists of these mixups, and those lists include items such as:

  • whose and who’s
  • presents and presence
  • right, rite and write
  • there, they’re and their
  • pore, poor and pour

The example above (from a CNN.com story on the sinking of a cruise ship) is one I haven’t seen before. “Pal” should be “pall.” “Pal” is a friend; “pall” is a sense of gloom. It seems like an odd error to make, especially since the words are not pronounced the same way.

Quiz yourself on these word choices at Triangle Grammar Guide and at Skillwise from the BBC.