Monday, December 07, 2009

you complete me

this will be fun: i bet most people dont even realize (i didnt) that compliment and complement are two separate words with different meanings and spellings.

i subconsciously used these homophones both separately and (apparently) correctly but if anybody ever asked me if compliment and complement were different words i would never think twice that one of them must just be spelled incorrectly.

compliment with an 'i' is both a noun and verb related to the nice things people say to each other.
complement with an 'e' is also both a noun and a verb relating to completion or things fitting together.

this can be taken further to juxtapose complimentary and complementary:

complimentary is an adjective used to describe something as providing compliment or also something that is free.
complementary is another adjective to describe things that act and complements

the 'i' version of these words has a very specific uses (only the ones described above), while the 'e' version of the word is used for many other specialized and sometimes obscure uses. just compare the size of the wiktionary entries to understand what i mean.

[complement and compliment on wiktionary]

No comments:

Post a Comment