You know the drill: ten questions, two minutes, correct answers at the end of the post. (For explanations, examples, and exercises, follow the links to our Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words.)
- Bail or Bale
"A founder member of the Electric Light Orchestra was killed by a half tonne hay _____ which rolled down a field into the path of his van, a jury heard yesterday."
(Ben Rankin, "In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time." Daily Mirror [UK], November 8, 2012)
- Bridal or Bridle
"The site forms part of a _____ path to East End House and the woodland is home to a variety of wildlife including badgers, owls and pipistrelle bats."
("Plans for Two Woodland Homes in Nailsea Are Rejected." The Bristol Post [UK], November 12, 2012)
- Calvary or Cavalry
"One of several existing stables from the 1870s, the hall's walls still have dozens of the iron rings for tethering _____ mounts."
(Laurel L. Scott, "Angelo State Civil War Series Will Focus on Mules' Work." San Angelo Standard-Times, November 12, 2012)
- Earthly or Earthy
"As any coffee drinker will tell you, the day immediately begins to feel better after taking that first _____, faintly bitter sip o' joe from the edge of a steaming cup."
(Brett Smith, "Caffeine Increases Ability to Recognize Positive Words." redOrbit.com, November 8, 2012)
- Grate or Great
"'The word homeless has the connotation of somebody pushing a shopping cart or sleeping on a sewer _____,' said Richard Baldwin, coordinator of the Shiawassee County Homeless Coalition."
(Sally York, "Program to Aid Homeless People Planned Next Week." Argus-Press, November 8, 2012)
- Imaginary or Imaginative
"New and _____ ways of caring for elderly people are springing up across England--with claims it is necessary because politicians are 'scared' of raising taxes to pay for it."
("New Ways of Caring for Elderly People." BBC News, October 14, 2012)
- Inhuman or Inhumane
"Killing elephants for their tusks is not only a brutal and _____ practice, but it has been illegal since 1989, when a global ban on ivory was put in place."
("World's Only Wildlife Forensic CSI Lab Works to Stop Poachers. PrairieDogPress, November 12, 2012)
- Inveigh or Inveigle
"The Republicans who litigate against early voting--and in favor of voter ID--talk about following the rules, even though the rules they are crafting have such self-serving ends, and _____ against voter fraud, even though in-person vote stealing almost never actually occurs."
(Emily Bazelon, "Don't Hamper Voters." Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2012)
- Judicial or Judicious
"With a little _____ pruning of trees and bushes in your yard, you can make a stunning wreath that will last through the holidays."
(Margaret LeRoux, "Gather Greens and Get Styling With a DIY Wreath." Telegram [Worcester, MA], November 12, 2012)
- Yoke or Yolk
"Defectors? That's a term usually reserved for Syrian troops who go AWOL or adults who escaped the _____ of authoritarian regimes."
(Debra J. Saunders, "The War on 'Obama defectors.'" San Francisco Chronicle, October 31, 2012)
More Quizzes on Commonly Confused Words: