Revised as of 19 February 2018
I do wonder at times at the state of our educational system. I found it humiliating (and terrifying) that I was required to take a bonehead English course in college and that the teacher spent weeks examining and explaining the difference between word groups of homonyms and homophones. Didn’t anyone learn this in high school?
Years later, I’m still shocked at how many people are putting images up on the Internet confusing words like pair, pare, and pear.
I suppose that men may get confused over a woman’s arse, that it has the shape of a pear, but then to tag it as pair or even pare? *shakes head sadly with rueful laugh* How incredibly idiotic. I felt quite Hannibal Lecterish when I typed pare into Google and turned up pairs of amazing chests. Simply using pare had me imagining some serial killer paring the flesh from those breasts…egods!!!
…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.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective; Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive||Verb, transitive||Noun
Plural for the noun: pears
[French] Noting any even number, especially in roulette
[Chiefly dialect] A set or series of small objects (as beads)
|Trim (something) by cutting away its outer edges.
||A yellowish- or brownish-green edible fruit that is typically narrow at the stalk and wider toward the base, with sweet, slightly gritty flesh
[Pyrus in the family Rosaceae] the Eurasian tree that bears the pear
They were well-paired.
Pairwise, those dogs are a good choice for breeding.
a pair of jeans
I have a pair of jacks.
Those two are quite the pair.
McKlellan’s is a company run by a pair of brothers.
Every naughty thing the pair of them did made their faces look worse.
Students will work alone or in pairs.
Each course member tries to persuade his pair of the merits of his model.
I hear that Johannson has nine breeding pairs of birds.
We can always do with an extra pair of hands.
Whoa, he sure showed a clear pair of heels!
I sure wish Frank would grow a pair!
Kady bought a matched pair for his carriage.
Rachel has paired up with Tommy.
Couples were paired off for the next dance.
An absent member on one side is to be paired with an absentee on the other.
|Carlo pared his thumbnails with his knife.
All you have to do is pare off the rind using a peeler.
Union leaders publicly pared down their demands.
We pared costs by doing our own cleaning.
Thomasina pared away the rotten bits and cut the rest up for stew.
|Bartlett pears are a common fruit in the produce section at the grocer’s.
The Anjou pears are beautiful this year.
There’s this great dessert with pears and chocolate.
We put in a pear tree this year.
Yeah, things have gone pear-shaped.
She has a figure like a pear.
|Adjective: paired, pairwise, unpaired, well-paired
|Adjective: pareable, unpared
Noun: parer, paring
|History of the Word:|
|Middle English (1250-1300) from the Old French paire, from the Latin paria meaning equal things; it’s a neuter plural of par meaning equal.
Formerly phrases such as a pair of gloves were expressed without of, as in a pair gloves.
|Middle English (1275-1325) from the Old French parer meaning adorn, prepare. Also peel or trim from the Latin parare meaning prepare.||Old English (before 1000) pere or peru is related to the Dutch peer, which is from the Latin pirum.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?