Word Confusion: Moral vs Morale vs Morel

Posted December 30, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I must confess my morale always goes up when I get fed a lovely dish of morels. Doesn’t do much for my moral choices about diet, but hey, a girl’s gotta eat!

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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Moral Morale Morel
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“My Own Moral Compass Means Taking Responsibility For My Actions” courtesy of Archemdis’ Blog

“Employee Rewards” courtesy of Employee Rewards and Incentives

Morchella angusticeps” courtesy of Wikipedia

Part of Grammar:
Adjective; Noun
Plural: morals
Noun Noun
Plural: morels
Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character

  • Concerned with or derived from the code of interpersonal behavior that is considered right or acceptable in a particular society
  • [Attrib.] Examining the nature of ethics and the foundations of good and bad character and conduct

Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct

A lesson, especially one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience

[Morals] A person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do

The confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time A widely distributed edible fungus that has a brown oval or pointed fruiting body with an irregular honeycombed surface bearing the spores
The moral dimensions of medical intervention.

a moral judgment

An individual’s ambitions may get out of step with the general moral code.

The moral obligation of society to do something about the inner city’s problems.

Moral philosophy is also known as the philosophy of ethics.

He prides himself on being a highly moral and ethical person.

The moral of this story was that one must see the beauty in what one has.

The corruption of public morals.

They believe addicts have no morals and cannot be trusted.

Their morale was high.

It’s important to keep troop morale high during war.

The promise of a bonus at the end of the year can enhance employee morale.

All these layoffs are killing employee morale.

A mushroom, morels are tasty in risottos, pasta dishes.

Morels have a rich, intense flavor when fresh with a nuttier, more buttery flavor when dried.

Morels are delicious when simply sautéed in butter.

Adjective: antimoral, hypermoral, moralless, overmoral

Adverb: hypermorally
Noun: morality, moralities
History of the Word:
Late Middle English from the Latin moralis, which is from mos, mor-, meaning custom. The plural would be mores or morals. Mid-18th century from the French moral, respelled to preserve the final stress in pronunciation. Late 17th century from the French morille, which is from the Dutch morilje and related to the German Morchel meaning fungus.

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

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Apples in a Basket” is Oxfordian Kissuth’s own work [CC BY-SA 3.0]; “The Scream” is by Edvard Munch; “White Morels” is Gzirk’s own work; and, “Dale Clark poses as Johnny Depp, in Pirates of the Caribbean” by Carol M. Highsmith. All four images are via Wikimedia Commons with the last three images in the public domain.