Word Confusion: Carat vs Karat vs Caret vs Carrot

Posted October 10, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Whoa…who knew this many homonymic carrots were running around loose! It’s all golden, however, from the value of a carat in a gemstone to the total karats in gold jewelry to the value of an inserted caret to that juicy carrot which I’d rather encounter than a stick!

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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Carat Karat Caret Carrot
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“2,860-carat Columbian Emerald” is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“Gold Bars” is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ya reckon a gold bar is 24-karat gold…*grin*…

Thank goodness for the caret to indicate exactly where the problem is.

“Curried Carrot-Ginger Soup” is courtesy of Gluten Free Cat

The curried carrot ginger soup sounds fabulous!

Part of Grammar:
[British] karat 1
Plural: carats, karats [British]
[British] carat
Plural: karats, carats [British]
Plural: carets

A.k.a., hat, control, uparrow, chevron, xor sign, to the power of, pointer, wedge

Plural: carrots
Unit of weight for precious stones and pearls, now equivalent to 200 milligrams Measure of the purity of gold with pure gold being 24 karats A proofreader’s mark (^) placed below the line (^) to indicate a proposed insertion in a printed or written text

An inverted V-shaped grapheme that is sometimes used as a spacing character

A circumflex accent

[Computers] Used to mark the beginning of a string or the beginning of a line within that string

[Mathematics] Used to signify exponentiation where the usual superscript is not readily usable (as on some graphing calculators)

Tapering orange-colored root eaten as a vegetable

Cultivated plant of the parsley family with feathery leaves, which yields this vegetable

  • Daucus carota, family Umbelliferae: two subspecies and many varieties (wild forms lack the swollen root)

An offer of something enticing as a means of persuasion

Often contrasted with the threat of something punitive or unwelcome

He gave her a half-carat diamond ring.

Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs.

Thus began a tradition of each queen consort having a crown made specially for her.

In 1902, a crown was created for Queen Alexandra using the 105-carat Kohinoor diamond.

The Hope Diamond weighs in at 45.52 carats.

The Princess Diana’s engagement ring has an 18-carat oval blue sapphire.

He had an ounce of 24-karat gold.

Karat (K) tells the number of parts, by weight, of gold in 24 parts of alloy.

The higher the percentage of pure gold, the higher the karat.

I used a caret in the photo above to indicate a missing word.

Mark is buying a château in the Loire Valley.

Pascal uses the caret for declaring pointers and when dereferencing them.

3^5 for 35

Carrots will promote cooperation over the environment far more effectively than sticks.

I love those baby carrots for munching on.

The basis for a mirepoix is celery, onion, and carrots.

History of the Word:
Late Middle English

1 From the French, which is from Italian carato, which is from Arabic kīrāt meaning a unit of weight, from Greek keration meaning fruit of the carob (also denoting a unit of weight).

It’s also a diminutive of keras meaning horn with reference to the elongated seedpod of the carob.

Late 17th century from the Latin meaning is lacking. Late 15th century from the French carotte, which is from the Latin carota, which came from the Greek karōton.

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

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Pinterest Photo Credits

“Custom Italian 18kt Gold and Golden Beryl Ensemble” is for sale at Earthfire Gems Gallery. I Photoshopped the golden beryl ring out from the 18-karat gold and 694-carats ensemble and inserted the caret and carrot.

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