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.

fable, foible
fable (FAY buhl) (noun)
1. A short story that is usually about animals and which is intended to teach a lesson: Lynn's favorite Aesop fable is about a fox and some grapes.
2. A story or statement that is not true: Carmela combines fact and fable to make her novel more interesting.
foible (FOI buhl) (noun)
A minor fault in someone's character or behavior: Each of us has some little foible which can be very amusing.

As a storyteller, Dudley often used a fable to illustrate a charming foible in a character’s personality.

façade, veneer
façade, facade (fuh SAHD) (noun)
1. The foremost part or face of a building: The saloon had a large facade covering the whole front.
2. A way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation: The couple were always trying to keep up the facade of their happy marriage.
veneer (vuh NEAR) (noun)
1. A thin layer of wood or other material that is attached to the surface of something in order to make it look better: All the shelves had veneer along the front.
2. The appearance of politeness without any sincerity: The veneer of respectability, which the newly rich man tried to show, was in fact superficial and obviously insincere.

The façade of the building was covered with a veneer of imitation stone, making it look 100 years older than it actually was.

facet, faucet
facet (FAS it) (noun)
1. A part or element of something: Each aspect or facet of the issue requires a lot of thinking through.
2. Flat surfaces on a jewel to enhance its sparkle: The diamond had one large facet and many small ones, all glittering brightly in the light.
faucet (FAW sit) (noun)
A device that is used to control the flow of aqua from a pipe: The faucet wasn't turned off and the bathtub was overflowing with water!

As Weldon considered every facet of his home renovations, he decided he wanted a brass covered faucet in the bathroom.

facetious, fictitious
facetious (fuh SEE shuhs) (adjective)
Used to describe speech that is meant to be funny but that is usually regarded as annoying, silly, or not proper: Frieda's facetious remark certainly did not fit the situation.
fictitious (fik TISH uhs) (adjective)
Not true or real: The characters in the novel are all fictitious and imaginary.

The book reviewer made a facetious remark about the fictitious characters in the short stories.

facilitate, felicitate
facilitate (fuh SIL i tayt") (verb)
To make easy or easier: Winning millions in the lottery may facilitate entering the world of high-class society.
felicitate (fi LIS i tayt") (verb)
1. To wish joy or happiness to: The parents of the bride wanted to felicitate the newly wedded couple before they left for their honeymoon.
2. To congratulate: Mr. Jones did indeed felicitate the student, a neighbor, for his graduation from college with a check and a written note in an envelope.

Linwood thinks that if he calls his friends instead of writing to them, it will facilitate his ability to felicitate them for their new baby.

facility, felicity
facility (fuh SIL i tee) (noun)
1. Something that is built for a specific purpose; such as, a building or large piece of equipment: The resort offers a large facility for various sports.
2. A skill and ease in doing something: Amy has a great facility with words.
felicity (fi LIS i tee) (noun)
Great happiness: Their marital felicity, or bliss, lasted many years.

Emily's cousin worked for a greeting card company because she had a great facility with words. She was often assigned to create cards wishing felicity for many different occasions; such as, weddings, new babies, promotions, etc.

fail; flail
fail (FAYL) (verb)
1. To prove deficient or lacking; to perform ineffectively or inadequately: The business is expected to fail to fulfill its promises.
2. To decline, as in strength or effectiveness: The lights in the room seemed to fail as a result of the electric storm which caused the generators to stop working.
flail (FLAYL) (verb)
1. To beat or to strike with or as if with a stick; that is, to whack with a manual threshing device consisting of a long wooden handle and a shorter, free swinging stick attached to its end: The tourists could see some people on the farm flail the grain to get the seeds out of the husks.
2. To move vigorously or erratically; to thrash about: Because James was afraid of drowning, he started to flail his arms helplessly in the swimming pool.

Apparently, the farmer was about to fail to flail his wheat before the weather became too rainy.

fain, feign
fain (FAYN) (adjective)
Archaic: referring to a person who is happily ready, willing; pleased, happy: They were fain, or glad, to go on their summer vacation.

Beatrice was fain to go to the party the following day.

When Lane's friend invited him to dinner, he was fain and delighted.

feign (FAYN) (verb)
To give a false appearance; to represent falsely: Janice will feign being ill on Friday so she won't have to participate in the sports' activities at school.

To say that Art was fain to go to the concert would be incorrect; however, because his friends want to go, he will feign enthusiasm and go with them.

faint, faint, feint
faint (FAYNT) (adjective)
Concerning someone who has little strength or vigor; dizzy, light headed: After hearing about the death of her son, Marilyn was quite faint.
faint (FAYNT) (noun)
Loss of consciousness: While Jodie was watering her flowers, her neighbor saw her suddenly pass out in a faint on the grass.
feint (FAYNT) (noun)
Trick, ruse, stratagem; a misleading movement or attack directed toward one part to draw defensive action away from the actual target or objective: The baseball pitcher usually made a feint just before he threw the ball to first base.

Christi thought she would faint when she saw her friend feint a heart attack and fall to the floor.

fair, fair, fare
fair (FAIR) (adjective)
1. Impartial, unbiased; honorable: A fair, or just, settlement of the dispute was suggested by the labor arbitrator.
2. A reference to weather conditions: The weather today is fair; that is, clear and sunny.
fair (FAIR) (noun)
An exhibition to show off new equipment or materials for trade and purchase of new equipment or materials: Jeremy plans to go to the famous book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, again in October.
fare (FAIR) (noun)
A price paid for transportation: The fare for a subway ride has been multiplied many times since it was originally set.

Kirby, do you have the fare for admission to the fair? Judy understands that the weather will be fair tomorrow and she thought the weather report was given in a fair and impartial manner on the radio.

There are some cities that are fortunate enough to have an equitable transportation fee, or a fair fare.

fairy, ferry, ferry
fairy (FAIR ee) (noun)
An imaginary creature that looks like a very small human being, has magic powers, and sometimes wings: When Marge was a child she loved reading her favorite fairy-tale book which took her into the land of the most charming fairy of all.
ferry (FAIR ee) (verb)
To carry or to move someone or something on a vehicle; such as, a boat or car, usually for a short distance between two places: The boat will ferry, or take, people to the island.
ferry (FAIR ee) (noun)
A ferry or a vessel for transporting passengers and vehicles across a body of water; especially, as a regular service: You can only go across the river by ferry because there is no bridge.

Virginia's friend told her that the dentist put a bridge in Frank's mouth; so, she asked him if the tooth fairy went under it in her ferry.

faker, fakir
faker (FAYK uhr) (noun)
A false or misleading appearance; a fraud: Tom exclaimed, "Come on James, you are not badly injured, you faker!"
fakir (fah KIR) (noun)
A Muslim religious mendicant who is a member of an order of clerics who are forbidden to own property and who work or beg for their living: The fakir, looking very thin and weak in the Muslim group, certainly is very poor.

A renown fakir lived in a remote village; however, there were some who thought he was a faker, trying to fool the population with his "miracles".

false, faults, faults
false (FAWLS) (adjective)
1. Not real or genuine and not really what it seems to be: Galen presented his false, or forged, documents to the police.
2. Concerning something which is based on mistaken ideas: Jane commented, "Mary, your conclusions are based on false and incorrect assumptions."
faults, (FAWLTS) (noun)
1. Bad qualities or parts of someone's character: Tonia still loved Bruce despite his faults of overeating and not exercising.
2.Responsibility for problems, misfortunes, bad situations, etc.: Despite all of his faults and mistakes, Mike was still Elma's best friend.
faults, (FAWLTS) (noun)
Cracks or breaks on the earth’s surface, or just below the surface; often associated with earthquakes: Riding in a helicopter, Jeremy was able to see the faults crossing the desert.

People heard a report about the risk of earthquakes to towns that were built on the faults across the desert.

This report worried Sheena until she realized that the report was false because it was written on April 1; that is, April Fool’s Day!

A man who works in a "Seismology Lab" once said, "I can predict earthquakes."

Would that make him a faults prophet?

fan, fan, fan
fan (FAN) (noun)
1. A device for creating a current of air or a breeze; especially; a machine using an electric motor to rotate thin, rigid vanes in order to move air, as for cooling: The engine was cooled by an electric fan.
2. A flat object that is held in a person's hand and waved back and forth in front of his or her face: It's a good thing that they each had a fan to use on their trip so they could cool themselves a little bit during those hot summer days.
fan (FAN) (verb)
1. To move air on or toward someone or something with a waving object: It was so hot that day that Shana had to fan herself with a newspaper while she was waiting for the train.
2. In a figurative sense, to make an emotional situation more dangerous, so people become angrier and more likely to act in a violent way: The speakers at the political meeting were trying to fan the group to march against the policies of the government.
fan (FAN) (noun)
Someone who likes and admires a famous person or something; such as, a sport or a sports team in a very enthusiastic way; an ardent devotee; an enthusiast: Ursula is a great golf fan and she is Merlin's most loyal fan.

This term for fan is a shortened form of fanatic or someone who is overly enthusiastic about something or anyone who has extreme ideas about politics, religion, etc.

Silas is a fan of indoor sports and he often goes to the local stadium. Sometimes it is hot in there because the electric fan doesn't work and because the hot music seems to fan the enthusiasm of the crowd and he must use his program as a fan to fan his face.

farce, force
farce (FAHRS) (noun)
1. A funny play or movie about ridiculous situations and events: "A Midsummer Night's Dream", a theatrical piece by William Shakespeare, can be called a farce.

2. Something that is so bad that it is seen as ridiculous: The election seemed to be a complete joke or farce to the population.
force (FOHRS) (noun)
1.Physical strength, power, or effect: The front of the car took the full force of the accident.
2. A natural power or effect that is able to change the speed or direction of something: The force of the earthquake caused the dishes to fall off the shelves and break.

Many people simply cannot accept the use of force to solve such minor problems.

What could you possibly like about professional wrestling? Is it the brute force that they exhibit?

Well, what I like most about professional wrestling is the brute farce which they perform.

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