Homophones Hurt Your Writing: Pair, Pare, and Pear

We are looking at homophones today. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. They can really mess with your writing.
I understand how important it is to have an error-free manuscript. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and difficulties. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as must, mist and most. These three words have vowels that are beside each other on the keyboard.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these invisible errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.

Now, onto today’s episode!

Pair has multiple meanings of course, like so much of the English language.  We will consider two of them today:

First is to put two things together. Like pairing a wine with a particular food in a meal.

Second is to have a pair of apples or two of anything.

These two definitions are similar but not the same.

Look how Pair contrasts with Pare, this homophone is quite the opposite in meaning.

Pare means to reduce or make smaller.  When you Pare an apple, you are removing the skin of the apple, thus making it smaller.  You can also Pare a list of 7 items down to 3.

Pear, we have been talking about fruit, so we cannot ignore the third homophone of this set.  What a wonderful thing to eat, a ripe Pear, they can be so sweet and juicy or firm and crisp in taste, depending on the variety you eat.  I prefer the former personally.


We have our triple, two of the words even have the same letters; but in a different order.  The possibilities for hidden errors to creep into your writing are nearly endless in the English language because a computer spellchecker will not catch the correctly spelled word in the wrong context.

If you use the wrong word your reader might think they tripped on an unseen bump while reading and lose the reading momentum you worked so hard to create.  Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to abandon your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing.  Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner, for more information about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on Twitter.
Don’t forget the #freeoffer for writers under the “Learn More” tab on my website. I have another excellent value for authors interested in promoting their book, see the “Review Your Book” tab on my website.


Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.

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