carat, caret, karat
home in, hone in
peak, peek, pique
palette, palate, pallet
Affect, almost always a verb, means to influence: The president’s tax cuts will affect only the wealthiest citizens. (The noun affect has a specialized meaning in psychology: an emotional state.) Effect, usually a noun, means a result or consequence: Interest rates have an effect on the economy. (The verb effect means to bring about, make happen, or produce).
Complement is a noun and a verb meaning to complete or supplement something: A complement of courses. The tie complements his suit. Compliment is a noun or a verb that means praise or an expression of courtesy: She was flattered by the compliment. The drinks were complimentary (a courtesy).
Compose means to make up or constitute. Comprise means to contain or to embrace. The parts compose the whole; the whole comprises the parts: Five men and seven women composed the jury. The jury comprised five men and seven women.
Use entitled to mean a right to do or have something: She was entitled to a raise. Use titled for the titles of academic works, novels, etc.: The article was titled “Development: From Infancy to Adolescence.”
A palette is an artist’s board for mixing colors. It can also mean a selection or a range of colors. The roof of the mouth is spelled palate. A pallet is a low platform, a wooden tool with a flat blade and a handle, or a straw-filled mattress or a makeshift bed.
Peak usually refers to a crest or high point. It also can mean to grow thin or sickly or to dwindle away (someone who looks pale and weak looks peaked). Pique as a noun means resentment at being slighted, and as a verb, to irritate, excite, or arouse. The common expression is "pique one's interest." A peek is a quick or furtive glance.
(37) The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2000), p. 217
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