Word Confusion: Tide versus Tied

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

It’s a tide of words tied tightly together to create a story, and sometimes, okay, most times, writers allow a spellcheck to do all the work.

Easy enough for a spellcheck program to accept tide or tied, since it only checks the actual spelling and not the context in which the word is used, but it’s as hard for writers and proofreaders since it’s a case of two measly letters switched around. And sometimes…those tired eyes get all tied up against the tide of time.

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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Tide Tied
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: tide and tied; YourDictionary.com: tide

white boat at high tide tied up at the dock

Woman in jeans and T-shirt tied up in a complex pattern of blue ropes

“Model in Stringent Hogtie” was originally uploaded by Jbc01 at English Wikipedia (JBC Productions / Aussie Rope Works issued from private original collection) and transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons under the GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0 licenses, via Wikimedia Commons

Yep, I’d say she’s all tied up.

The same white boat at low tide and still tied to the dock.

White Boat High Tide” (top) and “White Boat Low Tide” (bottom) are Peter J. Restivo’s own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL licenses, via Wikimedia Commons.

The tides in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada, often run up to 20 feet with the upper photo at high tide and the lower at low tide.

Part of Grammar:
Combined Form; Noun 1;
Verb 1, intransitive 2 & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: tides
Past tense or past participle: tided
Gerund or present participle: tiding

Past tense or past participle for tie

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: ties
Gerund or present participle: tying

Combined Form:

The alternate rising and falling of the sea, usually twice in each lunar day at a particular place, due to the attraction of the moon and sun

  • The water as affected by this
  • A powerful surge of feeling or trend of events

The inflow, outflow, or current of water at any given place resulting from the waves of tides

A stream or current

Anything that alternately rises and falls, increases and decreases, etc.

Current, tendency, or drift, as of events or ideas

Any extreme or critical period or condition

Verb, intransitive:
[Archaic] Drift with or as if with the tide 1

  • [Of a ship] Float or drift in or out of a harbor by taking advantage of favoring tides

To flow as the tide

  • Flow to and fro

To float or drift with the tide

[Archaic] To happen or befall 2

Verb, transitive:
To carry, as the tide does 1
[Archaic] To betide

  • Happen
Fastened or attached with string or similar cord

  • [Music; of two or more notes] United by a tie and performed as one unbroken note

[Of a game or contest] With both or more competitors or teams achieving the same score
[British] Restricted or limited in some way

  • [Of a house] Occupied subject to the tenant’s working for its owner
  • [Of a pub] Owned by a brewery and bound to supply the products produced or specified by that brewery
  • [Of aid or an international loan] Given subject to the condition that it should be spent on goods or services from the donor or lender

Verb, intransitive:
To make a tie, bond, or connection

To make or be the same score

  • Be equal in a contest

Verb, transitive:
To bind, fasten, or attach with a cord, string, or the like, drawn together and knotted

To draw together the parts of with a knotted string or the like

To fasten by tightening and knotting the string or strings of

To draw or fasten together into a knot, as a cord

To form by looping and interlacing, as a knot or bow

To fasten, join, or connect in any way

[Angling] To design and make an artificial fly

Combined Form:
Shrovetide is approaching, and we’ll be needing to go to Confession.

He rose on the springtide of prosperity.

“As there is now in the earth, so there is always in human souls a springtide ready to burst forth into beautiful living.” – Florence Hobart Perin

There’s a strong riptide out there.

They were driven on by wind and tide.

We’d better hurry, the tide is coming in.

The rising tide covered the wharf.

The trickle of tourists has become a flood tide.

The doctor’s no good this tide.

He drifted into sleep on a tide of euphoria.

We must reverse the growing tide of racism sweeping the country.

The tide of her illness is at its height.

Verb, intransitive:
The ocean tided most impressively, even frightening.

Verb, transitive:
Could you lend me $50 to tide me over until payday?

They finally tided off the reef.

He’ll be tiding up the Hudson by now.

My parents lent us some money to tide us over for a while.

He had a snack to tide himself over until dinner.

It was a neatly tied package.

It was the first tied match in the league.

As a tied vote, it would have to go back into committee.

It’s unfair for agricultural workers to be living in tied accommodation.

Tied houses now have guest beers.

The donation is tied to aiding runaways under thirteen years of age.

Verb, intransitive:
We tied.

The teams tied for first place in the league.

I am absolutely fit to be tied, John Jameson.

Verb, transitive:
The paperback book is tied in with the movie of the same title.

Ma, Ma, Randy tied a tin can on Petey’s tail.

They sure tied this bundle tight.

Has she tied her shoes yet?

She tied the strips of sheet together to make her escape.

Aye, yup, Miller tied all his own flies.

Ol’ Hanson tied the knot last week.

We really tied one on last night.

Adjective: tidal, tideful, tideless, tidelike
Adverb: tidally
Noun: tideland, tidelessness, tideline, tidemark, tidewaiter, tidewater, tideway
Verb: betide
Adjective: well-tied
Noun: tie, tie-down, undertie
Verb: retied, undertied
Phrasal Verb
tide someone over tied down
tied in
tied into
tied off
tied something in
tied up
tied someone up
tied something up
History of the Word:
1 Old English tīd meaning time, period, era is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch tijd and the German Zeit, also to time.

The sense relating to the sea dates from late Middle English.

2 Middle English (before 1000) tiden, from the Old English tīdan.

Old English tīgan is of Germanic origin.

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:

Shipping Traffic by pinguin1961 is under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license, via VisualHunt.com.