Of course we’re going to learn two more words today: It’s Wednesday! And these two are featured today because I saw one of them misused in a post recently and realized that again — someone depended on SPELLCHECK to do more than it can do . . . now, no coarse words, please!
Coarse (adj.) means many things including
- having a rough texture (coarse cloth)
- having large particles (coarse sand)
- lacking delicacy or fineness (coarse features)
- lacking in refinement or good taste; vulgar; crude (coarse joke)
Course can be a noun or a verb.
As a noun, it can mean
- a class you take in school (a grammar course)
- a specific path to follow (a race course)
- a way something progresses (in the course of time)
- a regular manner of procedure (the law must take its course)
As a verb, it can mean
- to proceed
- to hunt game with dogs (to course greyhounds after rabbits)
- to run or flow (the water coursed through the gullies)
Simple words, but if we’re not paying attention — or if we just didn’t know there were two of them with an identical sound — we can end up with the wrong one. That is and always will be the difficulty with homophones, so writers need to stay alert (or hire a really good proofreader).
For all of the various definitions of these or any other words you’re not sure of, check yourdictionary.com — it gives readers three or four dictionaries’ definitions of the same words. I use it all the time (of course I do!).