How to choose the right word – course/coarse

Is it hard to choose the right word? – of coarse!

Especially with similar sounding and similar looking words such as course and coarse!

You can even add CAUSE confusion for non-native English speakers. People from non-English speaking backgrounds often have trouble hearing the difference between words such as course and cause. Native English speakers often  take hearing the differences in sounds for granted.

This post is about how to use the correct course/coarse words.

first course

Even native English speakers who are well educated can make word mistakes that can make them look not-so-smart – even coarse and unrefined.

Imagine you are a professional and you use the wrong word. Will some of your readers judge you unkindly?

Those who know the correct words may doubt the accuracy of the rest of your work if you choose the wrong word.

Here’s an easy way to remember how to choose the correct word in the course/coarse confusion.

golf course

Most times you will use COURSE – a golf course, a photography course, in the course of events, first course (on a menu)

The “other” similar word COARSE is for when something is rough – for example COARSE FABRIC, COARSE GRASS, or even COARSE language.

I had great “teachers”  through my school and work as a journalist who helped me (and my classmates) remember what word to use. I often share their memory devices.

Just think that coARSE language might use include the word ARSE. And ARSE rhymes with GRASS!

MBE course sign


If a love of language is coursing through your veins and you’d like more tips on how to choose the right words – you can follow this blog, of course! Or you can get me in for a quick, tailored course on how to help you remember the confusing word challenges in your business.

You’d be amazed how many big businesses let mistakes slip through on their websites and in their marketing collateral.




Don’t let it happen to your business!


word nerd CU

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.



tony biancotti


Linked In – under Tony Biancotti


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