It’s (its) another Tuesday, and time (thyme) to (too, two) (re)learn five more (moore) pairs (pears) of tricky words that can make even the best writers look not so smart. They’re (their, there) known as homophones, words that sound the same but (butt) don’t mean (mien) the same thing and aren’t spelled the same. Sadly, spellcheck accepts them all (awl) because they ARE spelled correctly!
Mews (n.): an alley where there are stables; a narrow passage; a confined place; (v.): what a cat does
Muse (n.): a spirit or source that inspires an artist; (v.): to have deep thoughts or to meditate
Mot (n.): a witty remark; a witticism; a bon mot
Mow (v.) to cut down (to mow the grass): (n.): the place in a barn where hay, grain, or other feed is stored; a stack of hay or other feed stored in a barn
Mic (n.): short for microphone
Mike (n.): short for microphone; a man’s name (short for Michael); (v.): to put a microphone on someone
Middy (n.): a loose blouse with a sailor collar, worn by women and children; (Informal) a midshipman
Midi (adj.): having a hemline at mid-calf length; (n.): a standard for representing musical information in a digital format; the south of France
Might (n.): power; ability; strength; (v.): may; expressing a shade of doubt or a lesser degree of possibility (it might rain); expressing a lesser degree of permission (Might I go?); expressing a lesser degree of obligation (you might try to help)
Mite (n.): a tiny arachnid, of the order Acarina, of which there are many species; anything very small; a minute object; a very little quantity or particle. Sometimes used adverbially (She was a mite worried.)
Remember that spellcheck cannot help you with any of these words. As long as they’re spelled correcly, spellcheck is happy.
To check on any English word, check out www.YourDictionary.com — it’s a wonderful resource!