Word Confusion: Weak versus Week

Posted July 25, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I gotta say, this is weak, when a writer can’t be bothered to proof their work. Even if it takes a week to go over a manuscript, it would be well worth producing a well-edited book.

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. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Weak Week
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

The moon's pale light, Gull Lake.

Image by Herbert William Gallichan is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The pale light of the moon shines weakly over Gull Lake.

Three floor mats with each having a day of the week on it, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Photographs taken by banoootah_qtr [Creative Commons 2.0], via Flickr.

Everyday they change the carpet of the elevator and it says the day of the week!

Part of Grammar:
weaker, weakest
Plural: weeks
Lacking the power to perform physically demanding tasks

  • Lacking physical strength and energy
  • Lacking political or social power or influence
  • [Of a crew, team, or army] Containing too few members or members of insufficient quality
  • [Of a faculty or part of the body] Not able to fulfill its functions properly
  • Of a low standard
    • Performing or performed badly
  • Not convincing or logically forceful
  • Exerting only a small force

Liable to break or give way under pressure

  • Easily damaged
  • Lacking the force of character to hold to one’s own decisions, beliefs, or principles
    • Irresolute
  • [Of a belief, emotion, or attitude] Not held or felt with such conviction or intensity as to prevent its being abandoned or dispelled
  • Not in a secure financial position
  • [Of prices or a market] hHaving a downward tendency

Lacking intensity or brightness

  • [Of a liquid or solution] Heavily diluted
  • [Of an acid] Only slightly ionized
  • Displaying or characterized by a lack of enthusiasm or energy
  • [Of features] Not striking or strongly marked: his beard covered a weak chin
  • [Of a syllable] Unstressed

[Grammar] Denoting a class of verbs in Germanic languages that form the past tense and past participle by addition of a suffix (in English, typically -ed)

  • Contrasted with strong

[Physics] Of, relating to, or denoting the weakest of the known kinds of force between particles, which acts only at distances less than about 10–15 cm, is very much weaker than the electromagnetic and the strong interactions, and conserves neither strangeness, parity, nor isospin

A period of seven days

  • The period of seven days generally reckoned from and to midnight on Saturday night
  • Workdays as opposed to the weekend
    • The five days from Monday to Friday
  • The time spent working in the workday period of five to seven days
  • A period of five or seven days devoted to a specified purpose or beginning on a specified day
  • [Informal; chiefly British] Used after the name of a day to indicate that something will happen seven days after that day
The weaker sex? Oh, please.

She went weak in the knees with relief.

He is the weakest link.

Jim’s eyes are getting weaker and weaker.

Recovering from the flu, Jim was very weak.

The central government had grown too weak to impose order.

The new king used his powers to protect the weak.

He had a weak stomach.

The choruses on this recording are weak.

The argument is an extremely weak one.

I dunno, it’s a weak plot.

It’s emitting a weak magnetic field.

The salamander’s tail may be broken off at a weak spot near the base.

Their commitment to the project is weak.

People have no faith in weak banks.

There is only a weak light from a single street lamp.

My mom makes a weak cup of coffee.

She managed a weak, nervous smile.

He should never shave off his beard, as it covers a weak chin.

One of the four fundamental forces, the weak interaction involves the exchange of the intermediate vector bosons, the W and the Z (HyperPhysics).

Okay, okay, so I ate all the chocolate. It was a weak moment.

The course lasts sixteen weeks.

He’d cut the grass a week ago.

She has an art class twice a week.

I work during the week, so I can only get to this shop on Saturdays.

She works a 48-hour week.

Super Bowl week is highly anticipated.

The week of June 23 is when the conference takes place.

The program will be broadcast on Sunday week.

Adjective: overweak, weakish
Adverb: overweakly, weakly
Noun: nonweakness, overweakness, weakener, weakling, weakness
Verb: weaken, weakened, weakening,
Adverb: weekly
Noun: weekend, weekender
Verb: weekend, weekended
History of the Word:
Old English wāc meaning pliant, of little worth, or not steadfast is reinforced in Middle English by the Old Norse veikr, from a Germanic base meaning yield or give way. Old English wice is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch week and German Woche, from a base probably meaning sequence or series.

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