Confusing Words Clarified: Group F; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +

(lists of "F" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

Contraction Reaction

I hope I do not live to see
The death of the apostrophe.
For readers all will suffer fits
In disentangling its from it’s,
And they may also rave and rant,
Unable to tell cant from can’t;
Not to mention how they feel
When they mix up well and we’ll.
—Majorie Loper

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

farm, pharm
farm (FAHRM) (noun)
A piece of land used for cultivating crops or raising animals: Virginia's dad used to have an herb farm where he grew chives, parsley, and thyme, just to name a few.
pharm (FAHRM) (noun)
A place where genetically modified animals or plants are produced for the production of pharmaceuticals: The term pharm is a shortened form of "pharmacy" and "pharmacoustical" which are branches of the health sciences dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of drugs.

The new pharm was built on an old farm that had been purchased from the owner.

faro; farrow; Pharaoh, pharaoh
faro (FAIR oh) (noun)
A card game in which the players lay wagers on the top card of the dealer's pack: While traveling in France, the friends were trying to learn how to play the game of faro.
farrow (FAIR oh) (noun)
A collection of newly born pigs: The farmer was happy to see such a good farrow of new piglets when he went to the barn.
Pharaoh (FAIR oh, FAY roh) (noun)
A king of ancient Egypt or a reference to a "tyrant": The Pharaoh is the title of the rulers of ancient Egypt, who usually combined the roles of king and god.

Pharaoh is used today as a synonym for the king of ancient Egypt. Much expense of labor, money, and treasure was involved in their funeral rites, as shown by the pyramids and the tombs; such as, that of Tutankhamen.

Each line of kings formed a dynasty, of which there were 31 in all, the peaks of power and development being known as the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. The term originally and literally meant the "great house" referring to the living quarters of the king which was the royal palace.

The institution of kingship in ancient Egypt was centered around the concept that the Pharaoh was himself divine, a god among the gods, and therefore on a plane above mankind.

From the time of the New Kingdom (starting in the 18th dynasty, 1539-1292 B.C.), the term came to be used for kings of Egypt; however, the term Pharaoh was never formally the king's title.

—Compiled from information found in the
Encyclopaedia Britannica; William Benton, Publisher; Chicago;
1968; Volume 8, page 44.

When the Pharaoh played faro, the prize for the winner was a farrow of baby pigs.

farther, further
farther (FAR thur) (adverb)
Usually a reference to how much space dimension there is or how great a distance is, but it should be used only in connection with a physical or a "linear" distance: That town is farther away than William thought.
further (FUR thur) (adjective)
Not always differentiated from farther, but it should be used in referring to a degree, a quantity, or time in quality or degree: The students had to do further research in their project.

The simple rule is to use farther or farthest only when someone is talking about a measurable distance or space, otherwise use further to indicate greater in quantity, time, and degree.

In order to do further research for their geography class, the students went in search of a region that was farther away from their university town than the next village.

fast, fast, fast
fast (FAST) (adjective)
1. Descriptive of a swift movement or the condition of being able to move quickly: He is a fast runner, not a slow runner.
2. Pertaining to something placed or attached in a way that is not easily moved: Tie the rope fast to the hook.
3. Very loyal or faithful: They became fast and close friends.
fast (FAST) (verb)
To eat no food for a period of time: Susan was told that she would have to fast for at least seven hours before the operation.
fast (FAST) (noun)
A period of time when someone does not consume food or drink; sometimes associated with religious observances: Every day people break the fast after a night of sleeping; in other words, they have "breakfast" when they get up in the morning.

Before they started their fast, the two athletes, who were fast friends, participated in a race because they were both fast runners.

fatal, fateful
fatal (FAYT'l) (adjective)
1. Regarding a situation that brings about death: Certain diseases can be fatal or deadly.
2. Concerning something that causes ruin or failure: The burglar made a fatal mistake in his undertaking and got caught.
fateful (FAYT fuhl) (adjective)
Pertaining to crucial, momentous, and important results: Clarice's life changed on that destined and fateful October evening.

Linwood remembered that fateful day when the fatal explosion at the mine marked the end of the mining industry in his area.

fate, fete
fate (FAYT) (noun)
The force, principle, or power that is thought to predetermine events: It is the fate of teachers to always have to correct exams and record grades.
fete (FAYT, FET) (noun)
A feast or festival: Merlin had a big fete to celebrate the beginning of the New Year with his friends.

Imogene's sister sighed, "I am convinced that it is my fate to be the crowned queen of the fete this year."

fated, feted
fated (FAY tid) (verb)
Certain to do or be something: The two characters in the play seemed fated or destined for each other.
feted (FAYT'd, FET'd) (verb)
The simple past/past participle tense of "to fete" which is to honor a person or celebrate something with a large party or public celebration: The team was feted by their fans after winning the last game of the season .

The history of the ill fated lovers is feted every year at the theater festival.

faun, fawn, fawn
faun (FAWN) (noun)
In Roman Mythology, one of a group of rural deities depicted as having the body of a man and the horns, ears, tail, and legs of a goat: Pan, the son of Hermes and depicted in Roman Mythology as a faun, is usually pictured playing a simple instrument, the Pan pipe, and dancing happily.
fawn (FAWN) (noun)
A young deer; especially, one under a year old: You usually have to look carefully in a forest if you want to find a fawn in the springtime.
fawn (FAWN) (verb)
1. To be overly affectionate: When the celebrity arrives at the restaurant, the waiters fawn all over him.
2. To seek favor by supporting slavishly every opinion and suggestion of a superior; to grovel, to be an apple polisher, etc.: Some of the pupils decided to fawn on their teacher in order to get good grades in their class.

Jamie thought she would fawn over her professor and impress him with her knowledge of Roman Mythology; especially, the myths surrounding the faun.

Unfortunately, in her essay she misspelled "faun" and wrote "fawn" instead. Her professor was amused at her efforts to fawn but he was not impressed.

faze, phase
faze (FAYZ) (verb)
To disturb, disconcert, or to embarrass: Margaret was told by her parents that people would seldom succeed as musicians if they let criticism faze them.
phase (FAYZ) (noun)
Any of the stages or forms in any series of changes: Good teaching usually needs to have more than one phase of learning in a lesson.

Don't let the new phase of educational reform faze you, Martin. Remember, we teachers have watched this happen before.

fazed, phased
fazed (FAYZ'd) (verb)
The simple past/past participle of "to faze" which is to disturb, disconcert, or to embarrass: Latisha was absolutely fazed at the amount of attention she was getting after her performance.
phased (FAYZ'd) (verb)
Done gradually in steps and according to a plan: The present government has thought about a phased withdrawal of various military bases.

Travis is never fazed when he reads about the changed plans that would have phased in prison reform.

feasible, plausible
feasible (FEE zuh buhl) (adjective)
Regarding something which is possible, doable, within reason: Edda asked, "Craig, is it feasible to buy that house when your income is so small?"
plausible (PLAW zuh buhl) (adjective)
Possibly true, believable or realistic: Tony had to think of a plausible explanation for being late for class.

Is it feasible that your plausible explanation of the explosion would be accepted by the engineers?

feat, feet, fete, fete
feat (FEET) (noun)
An act of bravery, skill, endurance, or ingenuity: The feat of the first man to walk on the surface of the moon will not soon be forgotten.
feet (FEET) (noun)
The plural form of "foot"; the part of a person's body on which he/she stands or walks: Was it Napoleon who said that an army marched on its stomach as well as using its feet?
fete (FAYT, FEET) (verb)
To honor someone or to celebrate something with a big party or public event: The university decided to fete the winning football team with a parade.
fete (FAYT, FEET) (noun)
A festival or feast; an elaborate, often outdoor entertainment: The community decided to have a fete to celebrate the charity work done over the years by a group of dedicated volunteers.

It was an extraordinary feat when Georgina danced in her bare feet during the dance competition at the fete. In fact, the judges decided to fete her and gave her a coupon to buy a new pair of shoes for her feet.

ferment, ferment, foment
ferment (FUR ment") (verb)
To undergo or to cause the gradual decomposition of an organic compound induced by enzymes, bacteria, yeast, etc.: Nathan wants to ferment hops and barley so he can make some beer at home.
ferment (FUR ment") (noun)
A situation in which there is much excitement and confusion caused by some kind of change: After the opposing political party finally won the election, the town was in a state of ferment.
foment (foh MENT) (verb)
To cause or to try to cause the growth or development of something bad or harmful: To foment or to incite people to plan a revolution without thinking can have very serious consequences!

In order to foment a revolt among the farm hands, the revolutionary forces spread lies which caused a state of ferment among the farmers.

They even went to the local pub and ordered beer which was made when the hops and barley could ferment together.

ferrule, ferule, feral
ferrule (FER uhl) (noun)
Usually a metal ring or cap that is placed around the end of a wooden stick or handle to strengthen it: Stanley repaired the handle of the broomstick by using a ferrule.
ferule (FER uhl) (noun)
A rod or ruler used in punishing children: Steve remembers his mother saying that the teacher at her school used a ferule on their hands if they were not clean.
feral (FER uhl) (adjective)
Wild, savage, escaped from domesticity and turned wild: The feral cats gathered on the back fence to meow at the moon.

The witch in the forest used a ferrule to straighten her ferule which she then used to chase the feral cats away from her Candy House.

feted, fetid
feted (FAYT'd, FET'd) (verb)
The simple past/past participle of "to fete" which is to honor a person or people or celebrate something with a large party or celebration: The couple was feted by their fans after they appeared in the musical production.
fetid (FET id, FEE tid) (adjective)
Descriptive of a strong or unpleasant smell: A fetid or putrid odor of decaying meat filled the air in the kitchen.

A few days after the couple was feted at the Town Hall, the garbage, stored behind the building, was becoming very fetid and needed to be carted away.

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