Little Book of Confusables

Lost in language? Caught in confusion? You need The Little Book of Confusables

English is a messy, confusing language, and we all have blind spots – however confident you are as a writer.

For you, it could be knowing the difference between LETS or LET’S, PRACTICE or PRACTISE, EFFECT or AFFECT.

Maybe you’ve spent your life saying ‘off your own BACK‘. (It’s BAT, actually.)

Or perhaps you didn’t realise there were two spellings – and two different meanings! – of DISCRETE/DISCREET, HOARD/HORDE and REIN/REIGN.

You’re not alone!

In the 30 years I’ve been a copywriter and editor, I’ve worked with thousands of smart people – many of whom simply don’t find language easy to grasp.

It’s really no surprise. Our language is full of lookalike and soundalike words that have different meanings. The problem is, using the wrong word can completely change your message – and lead to embarrassing mistakes!

  • BALD men aren’t always BOLD.
  • DISEASED may be bad, but DECEASED is a whole lot worse.
  • Dramatic CORDS require the fashion police.
  • And heaven forbid you ask someone to ‘BARE with me’ – unless you’re a fan of getting naked with strangers. (Yikes!)

I call these words confusables – and I’ve been sharing tips to help you remember them on social media since 2016.

In 2022, I brought them together in The Little Book of Confusables: fun, memorable tips to remember 600 commonly confused words, in 300+ gorgeous pages.

It’s such a useful book, in fact, that it won GOLD in the 2023 eLit book awards!

Who is The Little Book of Confusables for?

The Little Book of Confusables is loved by teachers, editors, proofreaders, copywriters, authors, graphic designers, translators… as well as anyone and everyone who ever has to write emails or social media content.

It’s a book that’ll make you laugh and learn – and one that’ll help you avoid embarrassing errors.

As Leif Kendall, Director of ProCopywriters said: “This is the perfect book for anyone who reads, writes or speaks.”

I make that all of us…

What are confusables?

Confusables are any two (or more) words that trip us up when we’re writing or speaking. Here are my categories of confusing words:

Homophones: words that sound the same but have different meanings.

Homographs: words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.

Homonyms: which can be homographs, homophones or both.

Malapropisms: which occur when a similar-sounding wrong word is used instead of the right word, with nonsensical and often funny results.

Eggcorns: which occur when a word or phrase with a similar meaning is misheard or misunderstood.

Miscellaneous: the word pairs that defy categorisation but are still confusables. Words like ACUTE + CHRONIC, LIBEL + SLANDER and POISONOUS + VENOMOUS.

What’s included?

The Little Book of Confusables contains fun, memorable reminders for 500+ of the words you find most confusing, so you can boost your vocabulary, write with confidence and avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Learn tips to remember the difference between homophones such as COMPLIMENT + COMPLIMENT, DEPENDANT + DEPENDENT, avoid malapropisms and eggcorns like DAMP SQUID and DOGGY DOG WORLD – plus simple grammar lessons on commonly confused terms like LESS + FEWER and NUMBER + AMOUNT

…all in a gorgeous, flickable, fits-in-your-bag format.

Where can I buy The Little Book of Confusables?

The Little Book of Confusables is available on Amazon worldwide, or you can order a signed copy direct from me – and support my small business in the process!

The Little Book of Confusables by Sarah Townsend

No more confusing words!

Master 600 confusing words with The Little Book of Confusables: 300 gorgeous pages packed with memorable, fun spelling tips – from ACCEPT + EXCEPT to YOUNG + YOUTHFUL.

Loved by writers everywhere, this multi-award-winning guide has been described as The perfect book for anyone who ever has to write anything!”.


Your fun guide to confusing words
The Little Book of Confusables
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