Word Confusion: Capri versus capris

Posted April 27, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This word confusion does drive me mad. An author will write about a character wearing Capri, and I start to wonder how fat that character is. Or maybe, s/he is wearing a map of Capri! Yeah, that must be it. Or, no, wait, the character spilled wine all over himself… Yeah, that’s it. I sure hope it was the white Capri and not the red. You know how that red wine can stain.

So pay attention: Capri is an island (that I’ll never be able to afford to visit) while capris are a type of trouser. Please do note the lowercase of the pant style as it is not a proper noun. The lowercase also applies to the potato variety.

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. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Capri Capris
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Looking down into the harbor of the village of Capri

Image by Gil (Own work) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Looking down into the harbor of the village of Capri on the island of Capri.


red and gray plaid capris modeled by a store dummy

Image by Rita Holcomb (Rita Holcomb) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

A rather atrocious looking pair of capri pants.

Part of Grammar:
Noun, proper Noun, plural

Alternative phrase: capri pants

NOTE: This is NOT a proper noun, which means it is not capitalized unless it starts the sentence.

An island and village off the western coast of Italy, south of Naples 1

Wine produced on the island of Capri 2

Close-fitting, calf-length, tapered trousers, usually worn by women and girls

Cultivated variety of potato

Examples:
Capri has been a resort since Roman times.

The Bianco Capri is a 50–100% blend from falanghina and greco grapes and sometimes up to 20% of biancolella.

An iconic image of Audrey Hepburn is of her in capris.

There are 200 calories in a capri potato.

Sonja de Lennart, a European fashion designer, introduced capris in 1948.

Capris are mid-calf pants that closely fit the leg.

History of the Word:
1 The name of the island is of unknown origin. Suggestions include the Latin capra meaning she-goat, the Greek kapros meaning boar, or the Etruscan capra meaning burial place.

2 First known use: 1877

First known use: 1950s with origin in the U.S. and named after the island.

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


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