Wednesday, March 9

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, March 09, 2016 1 comment
Today we're tackling a set of fraternal twins of language, the homophones coarse and course. Once again, I'll provide a definition, examples and mnemonic tricks to help you keep them straight. Because spellcheck will not help you if you use the wrong term for the context.

Luckily, these two words are always different parts of speech; the A version is only an adjective, the U version is a noun or verb.

Coarse fabric (Alvimann at


(adj.) having a rough texture, or a loose weave; vulgar, rude, crude.

The beggar's coarse woolen cloak gave little protection from wind.
Use coarse sandpaper to remove the old, thick layers of paint.
Mickey's coarse jokes made everyone blush.

Coarse oars make hands ache
The coarse mannered are always alone.


A riding course (jade from
(n.) a route traveled, as by a ship, plane, or car;
a directed or mapped route
progress in time;
portion of a meal;
a unit of instruction, a plan of study on a topic

(v. intrans.) to flow or stream without obstruction;
to follow a course or be directed in a course

(v. trans.) to hunt using sight instead of scent;
to chase or pursue

Of course (idiom) - a turn of events is obvious or expected; certainly; naturally.

Buffy often lost her way on the club's golf course.
Over the course of a week, the team built a new prototype.
We'll be serving salmon and roast beef for the main course.
Kyle really loved his art history course.
Tears course down Lucinda's cheeks.
My kayak coursed forward in the strong current.
The greyhounds coursed hares across the field.
Of course the class clown would wear a vampire costume to the prom.

For an utterly ultimate run, use our course
Una's unique course unified us students.

Which sound-alikes tend to trip you up?


  1. Aw, geez. Now that you put me on the spot I can't think of any. I know I have a few, though.