Choose the right word – hoard or horde? An easy way to remember!

I saw this word confusion mistake in the opening few lines of a magazine – to escape the HOARDS of travellers…

 

Spell check wouldn’t pick it up. Hoards is a proper word – just the wrong word in this context.

From my experience working with super-smart young people (far smarter than I am!), I find many young writers either:

1. don’t know what word to choose – when faced with similar words

2. don’t care about what word to choose. (We don’t know – our audience won’t know the difference – why care?)

If you DO care –

Horde (noun) – is a crowd or mass or large number

Hoard (noun) – is a stash or stockpile and (verb) to stash or create a stockpile.

There are TV shows about people who HOARD things.

 

hoarders

 

So, the writer in the magazine should have written – to escape the HORDES of travellers.

 

I was lucky to have great English teachers who often gave simple and very “visual” memory devices to help you remember how to tell the difference between sound-a-like words.

 

A cliche relating to hordes was to refer to the  Mongol hordes.

 

mongol-horde

These Mongol HORdES rode HORsES – so “that” word HORdE looks like the word HORsE.

 

Simplistic I know – but it’s easy to remember!

 

So, now you know.

Writers of all ages make mistakes. I make plenty – but at least I try to choose the correct word. English is such a confusing and complex and inconsistent language.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good enough excuse to think “Why bother? My audience won’t know the difference” – especially when simple memory devices can help you choose the right word.

 

Here are some more simple memory devices.

Even if you know the different words – these devices can help you help other work colleagues or even young students you know. Many of my business clients I help tell me that they use the memory devices to help their kids!

 

I am very grateful for the wonderful English teachers I had – and I like to share the little tricks I learned and still use to choose the right word!

 

I have a hoard of tips that help hordes of writers (native English speakers and people who have English as a Second Language).

TB Social Media KLT

 

 

coarse or course

 

flout or flaunt

 

elude or allude

 

——————

 

word nerd CU

 

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

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can follow this blog.

These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication, better social media engagement etc. I like to help people COPE.

 

TBCope.001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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