More words that make me cringe


Nope, still pretty sleepy. Bored, board - The first is either the past tense of bore, to create a hole in something; or a word you yell when you’ve got nothing to do but discharge a roommate’s firearm into the wallpaper. (If you get the reference, did you see the new episode on New Year's? I’m awake now, because apparently fangirl squee is caffeinated.) The second is a long and flat plank, usually wood; or a group of people that govern something. (Hey. Panels are long and flat as well, and the word panel can be used in a similar sense to the second definition of board. Maybe the similarity’s got to do with congregating around a table? I dunno. The sleepy’s back.) Defuse, diffuse - The first is something you literally do with a bomb, or figuratively do with the tension in a room. The second is to spread out like a cloud, like softened light or perfume in the air. (Which I’m gonna need in a bit with this curry-spiced omelet. Tasty it is, but fragrant it’s not.)

Discreet, discrete-

The first is to be hush-hush, to avoid attracting attention or to keep a conversation quiet. The second is to be distinctly separate, like two fields fenced off one from another.

And because I referred to it in my last batch of words that tick me off: tempura, tempera -

The first is delicious. Shrimp and vegetables dipped in batter and fried 'til golden and served with soy sauce and ginger and chives. The second is a kind of paint. Both of them have been and can be made with egg, so maybe that similarity is why the words can be confused.

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