Susan 馃悵 Rooks, The Grammar Goddess

5 years ago 路 3 min. reading time 路 visibility 0 路

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Tuesday Tricksters, Lea -- Leaf

SEW / 50 7 SOW die dye worst / wurst = a

their / there / they’r 2 : - =

air / err / heir quince / quints 2 2

flew / flu / flue breath / breathe / breadth 3
sound alike


ferent spel oar [ore / or
have di different ee chute / shoot

_, counsel / council
cents / sense 00% its / it's :
ot! Gn genes / jeans
team / teem 914 7 gilled / gui soled / sold
assistance / assistants your / youre clause / claws

sent / scent

Yes, it's Tuesday, and that means another edition of the Tuesday Tricksters, words called homophones that sound the same as another one (or nearly so, anyway) but mean something different and are spelled differently.

They make many writers nuts because when we're writing we may type a word that isn't the one we meant, and spell check will not help! We need to be vigilent, especially when writing here on LI or any platform that doesn't have spellcheck, auto correct, or grammar check.

Lea (n.): A meadow or grassy area

Lee (n.): The side away from the direction from which the wind blows. an area sheltered from the wind:聽in the lee of the boulder

Li (n.): A Chinese unit of linear measure, equal to about one third of a mile (.52 kilometer)

Leach (v.): To cause a liquid to filter down through some material; to dissolve and be washed away; to empty; to drain: heavy rains that leached the soil of minerals

Leech (n.): Any of various chiefly aquatic carnivorous or bloodsucking annelid worms; one who preys on or clings to another; a parasite; (v.): to drain resources without giving back

Lead (v.): When pronounced "leed," it means to be up front, to be a leader, to show others what to do; to guide. When it's pronounced "led," it changes from being a verb to a noun, and it refers to a heavy, soft, flexible metal. See the next word for more.

Led (v.): This is the word we often misuse because we may think that "lead," which CAN be pronounced "led," is what we want. But if we're writing the past tense of lead (the verb), it has to be spelled led.

  • Carol will lead (leed) the parade tomorrow.
  • Carol led (not lead) the parade last year, too!
  • Lead-based paint needs to be handled very carefully.

Lede (n.): (US, journalism) The introductory聽paragraph(s) of a聽newspaper聽or other news article; (now chiefly UK dialectal, singular) a man or person; (chiefly UK dialectal, Scotland, collective plural) men, people, folk; (UK dialectal, Scotland, singular) a people or nation; (now chiefly UK dialectal, plural) tenements, holdings, possissions.

Leader (n.): One in front; one who leads or guides

Lieder (n.): A聽typically聽19th-century German art song

Liter (n.): A unit for measuring volume in the metric system; approximately 1.056 liquid quarts

Leaf (n.): A part of a plant or tree attached to the stem or branches; (v.): To produce leaves; put forth foliage:聽trees just beginning to leaf; to turn pages, as in searching or browsing:聽leafed through the catalog.

Lief (adj.): (archaic) beloved, dear, agreeable, willing; (adv.): (archaic, except UK dialectal) readily, willingly (I'd as lief have one as t'other.)


Are any of these new to you? I'd heard of lief, but I couldn't have defined it without consulting a dictionary if my life had depended on it. And I wasn't familiar with li or lieder at all.

And for more definitions of these and other words, check out, which contains definitions from four or five dictionaries, so you can find ones that make sense to you.


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Laurent Boscherini

5 years ago #2

Thank you Susan Rooks for sharing your insightful and educational tips, always welcome. May I invite you to add Leash - A leash or surfboard leash or leg rope is the cord that attaches a surfboard to the surfer. It prevents the surfboard from being swept away by waves and stops runaway surfboards from hitting other surfers and swimmers !! :)

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #1

Another great list Susan, but you forgot one... Leaf - Member of a Canadian Hockey Team that pines longingly after the chalice of Sir Stanley based on an ancient legend that the chalice had at one time passed through their city. Also a harbinger of spring time in Toronto during the playoff season when they are eliminated. As in "How do you know it's Spring? The Leafs are out!" Signed a life long Habs fan.

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