Please note: this site has not been worked on in many years and it has numerous bugs. It is now what some call an "orphan site." I may take it offline at some point but enough people write me telling me its useful that I leave it up. I doubt it will ever be updated so use it as is, or, use other more modern resources. Thanks.
Finding Confusing Words
There are many ways to use Confusing Words. Our goal is to help you find the word you are looking for in the fewest steps whether you know how to spell it or not.
? = a single missing letter
* = a string of missing letters
If you are looking for the word "man" you could type: "m?n" or "??n" or "ma?" or "m*".
If you are looking for all words that begin with "m" you would type: "m*" and click "Find"
If you are looking for all 4 letter words that begin with "m" you would type: "m???" and click "Find"
If you are looking for all words you would type: "*" and click "Find"
Confusing Words Groups
Each set of confusables (eg: there, their, they're) are displayed together as follows:
Note that some words are confused in more than one group and those groups are generally displayed together on one screen. An example of this is the word minimal.Copyright and Use
All material at this web site (confusingwords.com) is copyright (©) Richard Wanderman and Confusing Words unless otherwise stated.
Please do not re-use entries (definitions, word lists, examples, or notes) on other web sites or in print out of the context of this web site.
Anyone is welcome to print (hard copy) any or all Confusing Words entries for personal use. Please print the entire screen including the Confusing Words logo and our copyright notice in the footer.Development Team
Email contact: rwanderman at gmail dot com.Richard Wanderman: Original design and concept, ongoing design, html, and database support.
In 1990 my wife Anne came home from school and asked me if there was an easy way to collect the words that her students confused so that they might refer to their own personal list on their own personal computer.
I put the question back to Anne: if you had such a list, what kinds of information about the confused words should be included, and how should the information look? I asked her to come up with some examples, the first few of which were effect and affect and there, their, and they're.
We decided that we needed to show each set of confusables together so that an easy comparison could be made. We also thought that the list would include more confusables than just homonyms, words like aggravate and irritate, and good and well.
Each set of confusables would need:
Anne started collecting words, writing definitions, coming up with examples, and stored her collection in a text file until I could come up with another way.
My job was to think about how the information could be most accessible to writers using conventional word processing software like MS Word or AppleWorks (ClarisWorks back then).
A few things to consider in looking at the history of this project:
So, I built a HyperCard "stack" that included:
In time, Anne and I finished the stack and sold it as shareware for many years. It did well and thousands of people bought and hopefully used it. (Hopefully is correct if our users were hopeful about becoming less confused ;) )
Here's a screen shot of how a content card in this stack looks:
Many things have changed in the computer world since Anne and I first started thinking about this:
David has designed and built a database driven infrastructure using PHP (programming language) and MySQL (database engine) to hold all of the content that Anne created. We continue to add functionality to make it easy to find the word or words you're looking for.
We have been working on the new web-based version of Confusing Words for about a year now but like all software, web based or not, it is continuously being updated and your feedback will always be appreciated.
We hope you find Confusing Words useful and we look forward to your comments and feedback to make it even better.