It’s embarrassing to admit that there are words I’ve used, written, heard and read all my life and have gotten wrong until this year. But they say that confession is good for the soul so, just in case I have one, here are the two words I learned, this year, I’ve been consistently spelling and saying wrong my whole life. Thank you, spell-check! And thank you, Online Etymology Dictionary, for ‘splaining where these words came from.
Worng: My whole life, up to this year, I’ve thought this word was “rainment”. What made me so certain of that? I grew up on that wheeze about the lilies of the field, and how “Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Right: Raiment is the modern version of the shortened form of “arrayment”, as in Solomon’s glory (see above).
Worng: I have always spelled and said this as “paraphenalia”. Everybody I know says “paraphenalia”. I’ve seen it written many times, probably correctly, but I’ve always misread it.
Right: Paraphernalia’s original meaning was “a woman’s property besides her dowry” from para = beside + pherna = dowry. That’s what I get for not knowing Greek.
Etymology is the study of word origins.
Entomology is the study of insects.
WRITING PROMPT: How would your main character react to learning that he or she had always and publicly used a word wrong?