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If your soul is warn, I can heel it!
Updated on 9/06/08
I find it interesting that quite a few people don't know the difference between words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

Here's a few examples I see often on eBay:

Soul, referring to the bottom part of a shoe. How about Sole!

Heal, referring to the back part of your foot of shoe. Really, it's Heel!

Warn. This one takes the cake. The shoes are like new, never warn. I'm warning you, it supposed to be Worn!

Quite a few "patton" or "patten" leather shoes for sale. The guy who came up with the process to polish leather to a high gloss probably made a lot of money, because he patented the process. Hint, hint...It's called "Patent" leather!

Okay, that's enough picking on the eBay clan. Let's pick on stuff I read in the papers instead!

Bale, Bail. Way too often I see stories in the newspaper showing farmers "bailing" hay. And there's lots of "bailed" hay for sale in the classified ads too! But really, hay is made into
bales. I see farmers baling hay, using a hay baler. To bale something means to compact it down in size, into a uniform shape, for easier handling and storage. On the other hand, 'bail' has several meanings. The most common meaning is to pay money to avoid a stay in jail. Your friend could post bail to get you out of jail. Another meaning of bail is to scoop water, usually in a hurry. You had to bail the water out of the boat, so it wouldn't sink. Still another meaning of bail means a half-round shaped handle, like you see on a paint can or a pail.

Vane, Vein, Vain. Three different words, all pronounced the same, with very different meanings!

Vane generally means a thin, usually flat piece of material that is used to guide air, water,etc. in a certain direction, or to indicate which direction air, water, etc. is moving. A weather vane shows you which way the wind's blowing.
A
vein is a small blood vessel, or other similar small passageways that fluids can flow through.
Vain has two meanings. A person who thinks they're better than they really are is said to be vain. Another meaning of vain is 'without success' or 'of no use', as in "he tried in vain to put out the forest fire with a garden hose".

Accept, Except. They sound almost the same, but not quite.
Accept means 'take' or 'receive'. Except means 'not including'. Example: I can accept (take, receive) any form of payment except (not including) credit cards.

Affect, Effect. Affect means to CAUSE a change. Writing out a check will affect the balance in your checking account. Effect means the RESULT of something happening. The effect of writing too many checks is an overdrawn account.

Eminent, Imminent. Recently I read in the newspaper that the government can use "imminent" domain to force someone to sell their property. If they had a dictionary, and better yet, a proof-reader at the newspaper, they would have figured out that it's really called eminent domain. Generally, eminent means outstanding, or better than the others. Eminent domain means that the government thinks they have a better use for your property than you do. (In other words, it'll generate more tax dollars for them!) Imminent means that something is likely to happen soon. If you see lightning and hear thunder, the rain is imminent.

To, Too. Two. Figure it out for yourself. "I went to town two times today, that's too many! Are you going too?"

Hint:

"
I went to (towards a place) town two (2) times today, that's too (more than needed) many times. Are you going too (also)?"

Y'all come back now, ya hear?