Role vs. Roll

Lexical Vexations

role 1. n . a part one plays in a dramatic production or in relation to other people in a real-life situation.

roll 1. v. to move around a central axis. 2. n. a small bun served at dinner. 3. n. any number of other items that have been rolled up in their preparation (a roll of parchment, a spring roll, etc.). 4. n. a sound reminiscent of one that might be made by a rolling object (a drum roll, for instance).

Words in the Wild: Mr. French was pleased that he’d found a role in the Thanksgiving pageant for every last one of his students. Aisha played a drum roll as the curtains came up, Cairo and Kenta were the bread rolls, Lily played the part of the gravy boat, Eliana and Matthias were cabbage rolls, and Spot played the lead role of the turkey. The review that came out in the student paper the following week read “I laughed, I cried, I drooled.”

This lexical vexation is for Heidi, who wants to live in a world where roles are parts and parts can roll.

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

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