Can You Make Sound Choices Between Sound-Alike Words?

Rob Kyff on

Some usage distinctions are so tricky that even very intelligent people find them challenging. OK, smarty-pants, see whether you can choose the correct word in each sentence. (Look for a misdirection clue in each item.)

1. I will (forbear, forebear) from commenting on the unscrupulous behavior of your ancestor, Joseph "Stinky" Crawford.

2. Realizing that a proliferation of kittens might eventually be in the cards, we decided to have our adorable cat Blinky (spayed, spade).

3. The lingering odor of Flaffenhuffer sauce (reeked, wreaked) havoc with our elegant brunch.

4. I'm (adverse, averse) to traveling during inclement weather.

5. Winky is a rebellious showoff who (flaunts, flouts) conventional norms.


6. The insult Hinky threw at the stand-up comedian didn't (jibe, gibe) with the friendly atmosphere of the club.

7. After putting maple syrup on her pancakes, Pinky carefully (poured, pored) over the writer's manuscript.

8. Tinky casually (rifled, riffled) the pages of the hunting magazine.

9. When Minky assumed the (mantel, mantle) of volleyball team captain, she placed a photo of the squad above her fireplace.


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