Vice vs. Vise

by Heather

Lexical Vexations

vice n. a bad habit; immoral or criminal behaviour.

vise n. a device that uses two adjustable surfaces to firmly pinch an object in place.

Words in the Wild: Henry couldn’t see how spending all his weekends in the workshop was such a vice. After all, he enjoyed the smell of sawdust and the company of his drill press, lathe, and vise, and it wasn’t like he was hurting anyone.

These words like to swap places when you’re not paying attention, so you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for them. And the only mnemonic I can give you kinda sucks, but here it is anyway: a vice with a c isn’t a device . Hope that helps!

Still vexed? You can find a complete list of the Word Blog’s lexical vexations here.

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