Here is the latest in an ongoing list (some see it as a never-ending list) of words that can trip up even the best writers: homophones. These words are the ones that sound alike (or nearly so), and if a writer isn’t careful, the words written can be the wrong ones. They are spelled differently, and they have different meanings.
And spellcheck won’t help! If you spell a word correctly, no matter what language you’re using, spellcheck will say “Great!” It knows about spelling. It knows nothing about usage.
We writers need to be the final authority on what we write, so we need to be alert to what we often miss. These words are among those we need to pay a lot of attention to, so that we can look and sound as smart as we are.