Word Confusion: Click versus Clique

Posted April 12, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 20 August 2017

I don’t often run afoul of this particular word confusion, but when I do, I just feel so shut out. I guess I’m just not part of that particular crowd; I’ll have to click my way across the Internet and find my own clique.

Word Confusions…

…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.

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Click Clique
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: clique; Your Dictionary.com: clique

“Click” courtesy of Javier Garrido at Virsa English World


“Gang Members” courtesy of National Geographic

Any group with a particular interest can be a clique.

Part of Grammar:
Noun; Verb 1, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: clicks
Past tense or past participle: clicked
Gerund or present participle: clicking

Noun 2
Verb, intransitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: cliques
Past tense or past participle: cliqued
Gerund or present participle: cliquing

Noun:
A short, sharp sound as of a switch being operated or of two hard objects coming quickly into contact

[Phonetics] An ingressive consonantal stop produced by sudden withdrawal of the tongue from the soft palate, front teeth, or back teeth and hard palate, occurring in some southern African and other languages

[Computing] An act of pressing a button on a mouse or similar device.

[Medicine] A slight sharp sound, such as that heard from the heart during systole

Verb, intransitive:
Make or cause to make a short, sharp sound

  • [Computing] Select an item in a graphical user interface by pressing a button on a mouse

[Informal] Become suddenly clear or understandable

  • Quickly become friendly or intimate
  • Become successful or popular

Verb, transitive:
Make or cause to make a short, sharp sound

  • [Computing] Select an item in a graphical user interface by pressing a button on a mouse
Noun:
A small exclusive group of people

  • Coterie, set, circle, ring, in-crowd, group
  • Club, society, fraternity, sorority
  • Cabal, caucus
  • [Informal] Gang

Verb, intransitive:
[Informal] To form, or associate in, an exclusive group

  • To act with others secretly to gain a desired end
  • To plot
Examples:
Noun:
We heard the click of the timer.

She heard the click of the door.

The !Kung bushmen in The Gods Must Be Crazy use a click language.

Do a right-click to open a dialogue box with other options.

Verb, intransitive:
The camera clicked.

It finally clicked in my head.

We just clicked that night.

The key clicked in the lock and the door opened.

Click on the illustration for a larger version.

Finally it clicked what all the fuss had been about.

We just clicked, and I found myself falling in love.

I didn’t meet a woman who I really clicked with until I was 40.

I don’t think this issue has clicked with the voters.

Verb, transitive:
She clicked off the light.

Martha clicked her tongue.

The clicking cameras outside the church.

Click the left mouse button twice.

Noun:
Almost no one from our clique has shown up for the reunion.

They’re a tight-knit little clique.

Remember the cliques in high school?

Verb, intransitive:
They cliqued together.

Derivatives:
Adjective: clickless
Noun: clicker
Adverb: cliquishly
Adjective: cliquish, cliqueless, cliquey, cliquy
Noun: cliquishness, cliquism, subclique
History of the Word:
1 Late 16th century: imitative. 2 Early 18th century from the Old French cliquer meaning make a noise.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits

Members of the Pitt Dance Team 2 is Danceteamcherleaders’ own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.


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