EDITING KNOWHOW False Friends #4

Following False Friends one, two and three, here’s a fourth compilation of homophones and heterographs from Catriona Tippin.

advice / advise
(noun) with the c pronounced s / (verb) with the s pronounced z

avenge / revenge
(verb) all about retribution / (noun or verb) all about retaliation

conscience / conscious
aware of right and wrong / awake

contiguous / contingent
(adjective) touching, for instance, on a map / (adjective) subject to chance or existing conditions, (noun) a group sharing a characteristic

emigrate / immigrate
to move away from a country / to move into a country

endemic / epidemic
describes a disease that exists permanently in an area / describes an outbreak of a disease

epitaph / epithet
tribute on a tomb / witty description

gaff / gaffe
a hooked spear / a faux pas

naught / nought
alternative spellings and both mean nothing or zero

ordinance / ordnance
local law / military kit
The Ordnance Survey was founded in the eighteenth century to carry out military surveys, and still produces maps to this day. Some good resources for children, parents and teachers here .

premier / premiere
(adjective) first in status, (noun) a prime minister / (noun or verb) first performance

punctilious / punctual
showing attention to detail / on time, not late

reluctant / reticent
resistant, unwilling, disinclined / restrained, unwilling to communicate, reserved

trooper / trouper
a soldier, member of the troops / a performer, member of a troupe and (as the show must go on) also an uncomplaining person who overcomes problems
“Trooper: All effing, all blinding. Trouper: all singing, all dancing” according to The Economist Style Guide.

whiskey / whisky
Irish / Scottish (Aye, spelling with or without the ‘e’ matters. Slainte!)

And some intriguing sets of three:

cite / sight / site
(verb) to quote or to summon / (noun or verb) seeing etc / (noun) a place – physical or electronic

palate / palette / pallet
the sense of taste or the roof of the mouth / a range of colours or a board for mixing them on / a platform for cargo

peak / peek / pique
highest point / quick look / to excite (or upset)
It’s ‘pique one’s interest’ not ‘peak’ or ‘peek’.

rain / reign / rein
wet weather / majestic rule / horse guidance (all three are verbs or nouns)
The error I’ve seen here is ‘to reign in’ – it should be ‘to rein in’

ton / tonne / tun
imperial measure of weight: UK 2,240lbs USA 2,000lbs / metric measure of weight: 1,000 kilograms / measure of liquid volume, usually beer

Header Photo Credit: Hannah Rodrigo on Unsplash

There’s a compilation of the three previous Words & Pictures listings of False Friends here 

Catriona, aka Proofreading Tips, will be co-hosting a Friday Fringe event on comics at the SCBW-BI 2017 Conference next month.

Catriona Tippin
Catriona Tippin has been a member of SCBWI since 2006. Details of her writing and illustrating can be found here . She’s @proofreadingtip on Twitter. Browse 40 Proofreading Tips articles by Catriona featured previously in Words & Pictures here.

Louisa Glancy is a features editor for Words & Pictures.
Contact: writers@britishscbwi.org
Twitter: @Louisa Glancy

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