Grammar lesson

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

The other day while I was copy editing a magazine proof, I ran across the use of the word chord.  The article was talking about moving some chords out of the way during a construction project.  Here is yet another example of a homophone (a word that sounds the same but is spelled differently and has a different meaning).  At first glance it may seem that all is well in the copy because the word chord sounds like a kind of cable or thread that may be running across a wall or a floor, but the correct spelling is cord.  The kind the author was talking about refers to musical tones; i.e., harmony or triad as in a major or minor chord.  If you want to illustrate how a particular event struck a chord in the observer — the type that resonates a deep feeling within (something that a body of music is apt to do) — it’s also spelled as noted.

Do you ever accidentally substitute chord for cord?

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