Word Confusion: Aisle vs I’ll vs Isle

Posted March 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I can’t help it, every time I read the word isle, I get a flashback to Piers Anthony’s punny Xanth series and one novel in particular — the Isle of View.

Actually, an easy way to remember that isle is a small island (or peninsula) is to simply think of the British Isles. An island nation.

Compared to an isle, an aisle is much more open. It allows one to progress while an isle is more likely to bar one’s way.

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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Aisle I’ll Isle
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

An aisle in a former monastery

“47 Chorin 06” by michael clarke stuff was uploaded by russavia and is under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

An aisle at the former Cistercian monastery, Chorin, in Berlin.

Silhouette of a woman striding across a rocky landscape against a golden sky

I’ll Be Me” is the cover for a new book of poetry by Kaitlin Bartholomew, courtesy of KidPub

Aerial view of Timilersua Island, Sugar Loaf Bay, Upernavik Archipelago, Greenland.

“Aerial View of Timilersua” is Algkalv’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

A lovely isle.

Part of Grammar:
Plural for noun: aisles
Simple Future Contraction (uses an apostrophe) Noun, chiefly poetic or literary
Plural for noun: isles
Passage between rows of seats in a building

Passage between shelves of goods

[Architecture] Lower part parallel to and at the side of a nave, choir, or transept from which it is divided by pillars

I shall

I will

[Chiefly literary] Island or peninsula, usually small
Her father led her up the aisle at her wedding.

And there was dancing in the aisles.

The peaches are in aisle four.

Piers Anthony’s Centaur Aisle is pretty funny as well.

I’ll be home for Christmas.

I’ll see what’s keeping her.

I’ll be right back.

I’ll eat my hat!

She lives on a small isle in the Mediterranean.

England has been referred to as the British Isles.

It was a small isle of sunlight in which the lass spun.

Adjective: aisled
History of the Word:
Late Middle English ele, ile, from the Old French ele, which is from the Latin ala meaning wing.

The spelling change in the 17th century was due to confusion with isle and influenced by the French aile which also meant wing.

Middle English ile from the Old French and from the Latin insula. The spelling with s (also in the 15th-century French) is influenced by Latin.

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!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

The island photo is by User:Geographer under the GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 license and the “Illustrated Front Cover from The Queenslander, August 7, 1930” is by the State Library of Queensland, Australia, and has No restrictions. Both are via Wikimedia Commons.