This week we’re going to cover another list of tricky words to help you expand your vocabulary and get a grasp on the elusive English language.
Bail: A deposit of security to guarantee the appearance of an arrested person.
Bale: Making something into a bundle, like hay.
–The judge refused to set bail.
-The horses need a bale of hay put out.
Bare: Naked or exposed.
Bear: A large animal. It also means to carry or support.
-The parched landscape was bare of plants and grass.
-The campers were attacked by a large brown bear.
-You alone must bear this burden.
Base: Support, foundation, center of operations.
Bass: Voice, instrument, sound in a low range. Pronounced [beys]—same as base.
-The Red Cross will set up base in the town square.
-My husband plays bass in a rock band.
*Bass is also a fish, but the pronunciation is [bas] (or b with an ass).
Biannual: Twice yearly.
Biennial: Every two years.
-We will hold a fundraiser every six months, or biannually.
-Many plants complete their life cycle every two years. They are biennials.
Blatant: Brazen, obvious.
Flagrant: Conspicuously shocking.
-The witness told a blatant lie.
-He showed a flagrant disregard for the rules.
Blond: Fair-haired, usually referred to males.
Blonde: Fair-haired, usually referred to females.
-The new secretary is blonde.
-The ship’s captain is a tall, blonde man.
Board: Piece of wood or managing body of a group.
-I need to cut a board to cover the windows with.
-I’ve become bored with playing video games.
Bough: Tree limb.
Bow: Gesture of respect. Pronounced [bou].
-The squirrel jumped from one bough to another.
-The singer took a bow after his performance.
*Bow is also pronounced [boh] and is usually made with ribbon. It’s also an instrument of hunting—Robin Hood was skilled with a bow.
Break: Separate into parts.
Brake: Slow down.
-Did you break the window?
-You need to apply the brake going down hill.
Breach: Violation of a rule.
Breech: Rear part.
-The lawyer pleaded ‘breach of contract’ for my case.
-Place the breech of the gun on your shoulder.
This concludes this week’s wonderful world of words. Good vocabulary and word usage is important to avoid malapropism: an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously. And who wants to sound ridiculous?