As a writer I know firsthand how tricky words can be.
Both examples sound the same but each word means something completely different. A shutter is a window dressing or means to close something up, while a shudder means to tremble. A pedal is a part on a bike, while petal is a part on a flower.
This week my daughter stumbled onto another one of those tricky words that had me laughing.
While taking her back to school from an orthodontic appointment we passed the Catholic Church with its many outlying buildings. She saw the many signs like Parish parking, Parish Community Center, and Parish school and became upset.
“Mom, what’s with the death theme around here?”
It was such an out-of-the-blue odd question I had no idea what she meant, she then proceeded to point to the signs. “Death parking, death school—that’s kind of morbid don’t you think?”
I burst out laughing. “That version of parish doesn’t mean death. It means a congregation or local group of people. P-E-R-I-S-H is how you spell the perish that means to die or dwindle.”
“Oh.” She slumped back embarrassed.
“Hey, it’s okay.” I reached over and patted her shoulder. “Mommy’s made that same mistake more than once in my novels.” I shook my fist. “Darn English language!”
Then we both laughed.