This one makes me nuts. It’s as though no one is aware that complement even exists!
An interesting mnemonic aid for this pair of heterographs was provided by TK from Daily Writing Tips: compliment with an i is the opposite of an insult while complement with an e “makes equal” or Cfoster’s “complete”. My own interpretation is that complement “goes wEll with ___” but then, that’s the artist in me!
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun; Verb, transitive||Noun;
Verb, intransitive & transitive
Completes, goes well with something, brings to perfection
May also refer to color choices, as in complementary colors
A number or quantity of something required to make a group complete[Geometry] Amount in degrees by which a given angle is less than 90-degrees [Mathematics] Members of a set that are not members of a given subset [Grammar] One or more words, phrases, or clauses governed by a verb, a nominalization, or a predicative adjective that completes the meaning of the predicate
An adjective or noun that has the same reference as either the subject or the object[Physiology] Group of proteins present in blood plasma and tissue fluid that combine with an antigen-antibody complex to bring about the lysis of foreign cells
Add to or make complete
An expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration
We had the full complement of pots and pans.
Blue is the complement of orange while red is the complement of green.
The army is up to its full complement.
My compliments to the chef.
The proposals complement the incentives already available.
A classic blazer complements a casual look.
With my compliments
Oh, that’s a lovely dress.
There was a very complimentary review in the paper.
The drinks are complimentary.
|Adjective: complemental, complementary
Noun: complementary, complementer
|Adjective: complimentable, complimentaries, complimentary, uncomplimented
Noun: complimentaries, complimentary, complimenter, compliments
Verb, transitive: outcompliment
|History of the Word:|
|Late Middle English in the sense of completion from the Latin complementum, from complere meaning fill up.||Up until 1655, complement was the preferred English spelling
Between 1655 and 1715, the all-e spelling was gradually replaced by today’s version, compliment
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
“Masterlock Padlock” is Thegreenj’s own work under the GFDL, CC BY-SA 2.5, GFDL, or CC-BY-SA-3.0 licenses and “Skeleton Key Drawing” by Joseph Martin Kronheim (1810-1896) is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.