Word Confusion: Installation versus Instillation

Posted May 25, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions

The only way it could be obvious that it was “a military instillation of some sort” is if the author is talking about injecting that military whatever(??) slowly with something. I’m pretty sure the author meant a military base of some sort…then again…

Depending upon pronunciation, this Word Confusion pair can be an heterograph.

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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Installation Instillation
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: instill

Aerial view of Fort Jefferson on an island off Florida

“Fort-Jefferson Dry-Tortugas” is by U.S. National Park Service and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Jefferson is a military installation.

Squeezing eyedrops into the eye

“10 Important Tips on Instilling Eyedrops” courtesy of Prof. Blumental of Glaucoma and Cataract Rambam Medical Center

This article discusses the proper instillation of eye drops.

Part of Grammar:
Morpheme: install

Plural for the noun: installations
Morpheme: instill

Plural for the noun: instillations
The action or process of installing someone or something, or of being installed

A thing installed

  • A large piece of equipment installed for use
  • A military or industrial establishment
  • An art exhibit constructed within a gallery
The act of infusing slowly or gradually into the mind or feelings

  • The act of insinuating
  • The act of injecting

Something injected, insinuated, infused, or added

Adding something in drop by drop

They’re doing an installation of a central air-conditioning system this afternoon.

The powers-that-be are having computer installations done down on the third sub-level.

There is considerable debate about nuclear installations.

Have you seen the video installation down at Decker’s Art Gallery?

The military installation in Frankfurt is being dismantled.

It is imperative for the instillation of courtesy in children so it becomes a natural act as they grow.

The​y ​insist on an instillation of a macho culture right from the start of childhood.

Taking care of my siblings was not conducive to the instillation in me of any maternal instinct for my own children.

Why is it that conservatives require an instillation of fear in people?

Noun: installer, installment, preinstallation, reinstallation
Verb: installs, installing, installed, instals [British]
Noun: instiller, instillment
Verb: instil [British], instill, instilled, instilling, instillment, preinstill
History of the Word:
First recorded in 1600-10 from the Medieval Latin installātiōn- (stem of installātiō). 1530-40, from the Latin instillātiōn- (stem of instillātiō), which is equivalent to instillāt(us), as a past participle of instillāre meaning to instill + -iōn-.

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:

“Marine Corps Platoon” by Corporal Justin J. Shemanski, USMC is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.