I’d like to compliment your writing

I’d like to compliment the writer for Yahoo! Sports‘ “Ball Don’t Lie.” But I can’t. This one homophonic mix-up prevents me from extending a compliment:

complement sports

The American Heritage Dictionary offers this usage note on complement and compliment:

Complement and compliment, though quite distinct in meaning, are sometimes confused because they are pronounced the same. As a noun, complement means “something that completes or brings to perfection” (The antique silver was a complement to the beautifully set table); used as a verb it means “to serve as a complement to.” The noun compliment means “an expression or act of courtesy or praise” (They gave us a compliment on our beautifully set table), while the verb means “to pay a compliment to.”

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2 Responses to “I’d like to compliment your writing”

  1. lectorconstans Says:

    I always like those compiementary breakfasts you get at some hotels and motels.

    (That one’s even harder than principal.principle).

  2. Laura Says:

    The only way I can remember the difference between compliment and complement is that a compLEment is an eLEment that compLEtes or suppLEments.


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