Slim Confusion

Pure fun exists in changing the tiny bit of sounds in words. Replacing one or two vowels or consonants may totally alter the meaning of a word. Flex your brain muscles with these 10 perplexing words!

1. gourmand vs. gourmet. Gourmand means someone who likes to eat and drink a lot without discrimination (=glutton) while a gourmet is someone who knows a lot about food and wine and who enjoys good food and wine (=connoisseur).

2. flaunt vs. flout. To flaunt is to show your money, success, beauty etc so that other people notice it (used pejoratively). Meanwhile,  to flout means to deliberately disobey a law, rule etc, without trying to hide what you are doing.

3. erupt vs. irrupt. Erupt has popularly meant to break or burst out, just like a volcano while silent “irrupt” happens to be the opposite, to suddenly or forcibly break in or enter (e.g. She just irrupted into our conference room.)

4. loth/loath vs. loathe. We are loth/loath to do whatever doesn’t suit our preference. Loth/loath means the same as reluctant. Add an e to the word, and you’ll get a fiery meaning: to loathe is to hate something or someone very much.

5. presumptuous vs. presumptive. When you are presumptuous, you are excessively forward, or pushy, though you don’t have the right to be. Meantime, presumptive means providing reasonable basis for belief or acceptance.

6. prescribe vs. proscribe. We have known that to prescribe is to recommend something, yet are you aware that a change of e to o will make it other way around? To proscribe is to forbid something. Be careful with the vowels.

7. recourse vs. resort. “Recourse” is always a noun while “resort” is both a noun and a verb. Apart from the word class they belong, these words have no other slight differences.

8. sensual vs. sensuous. When you mean to indulge your physical appetites, you’re being sensual. Yet if you are savouring the beauty of an art or music, you’re simply being sensuous.

9. travesty vs. tragedy. Travesty means something that is extremely bad and is not what it is claimed to be- simply, a mockery. Tragedy is understandably a very sad, shocking event, which usually involves death.

10. immunity vs. impunity. Immunity means one’s ability to resist disease caused by infectious agents. It seems a bit close to impunity as this exempts one from punishment or loss (though they have done something bad).

Feeling more confident? Never ever let these words trick you next time!

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