Tag Archive - device and devise

Some More Confusables

Here are some more confusing pairs of words that you might want to jot down in your notebook. In these kinds of words, remember that the letter C sounds the way it does in the word ice and the letter S like a Z–as in the word size:

Advice and Advise: You give advice (noun) and you advise (verb) a friend to not drink and drive.

Device and Devise: If you can’t get that device (noun) to work, you might try to devise (verb) a plan to jerry-rig it.

Another common mix-up I’ve seen is with the use of prophecy and prophesy. It’s easy to keep this straight if you remember the letter C sounds like see. A prophet sees a prophecy, but he will sigh when he prophesies (a good way to remember the difference). And I often see something like “He prophesized.” There is no such word, but people (including pastors at the pulpit) say it a lot.