Word Confusion: Genes versus Jeans

Posted February 6, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

It is possible that I interpreted the sentence incorrectly, but I should think only a story focusing on forensics or murder investigation could truly get away with someone wearing their genes. I suppose it could have been a poetic attempt to say the person looked like their parents, but…that would be a stretch.

Especially since the genes was preceded by blue…and they weren’t talkin’ about her eyes.

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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Genes Jeans
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Merriam-Webster: Genes

“Nucleosome1” is Thomas Splettstoesser’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Molecular surface of histones is shown in blue and the DNA in orange, all of which are a part of our genes.

“Pair of Blue Blood Jeans” courtesy of Theorb and Wikimedia Commons

Part of Grammar:
Noun Adjective; Noun, plural 2 and singular 3
[Biology] A part of a cell that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing

[Informal use] A unit of heredity that is transferred from a parent to offspring and is held to determine some characteristic of the offspring

[In technical use] A distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid

Describes the type of fabric of a garment

Hard-wearing trousers made of denim or other cotton fabric, for informal wear. When blue, the typical color of jeans, they are also called blue jeans 2

Heavy twilled cotton cloth, especially denim 3

[In commercial use] A pair of jeans

Proteins coded directly by genes.

She got her genes from her mother.

I inherited my big brother’s jean jacket.

She got her jeans from her mother; they do wear the same size.

I love my jeans.

My sister adores her button-fly jeans.

Adjective: gene-altered, genetic, genetical, hypergenetic, hypergenetical
Adverb: genetically, hypergenetically
Noun: genesis, genealogy, hypergeneticalness
Adjective: jeaned
History of the Word:
Early 20th century from the German Gen, which is from Pangen, a supposed ultimate unit of heredity from the Greek pan-, or all + genos meaning race, kind, offspring 1 Late 15th century, from the Old French Janne (now Gênes), from medieval Latin Janua, or Genoa, the place of its original production.

2 Mid 19th cent plural of jean

3 16th century from jean fustian, which literally means fustian from Genoasin

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 Denim Guide Part 1 — History” is courtesy of Well Dressed Dad.