It’s time for “Confusing Words of the Week” where I take a set of two or three words that get confused and give you definitions and try to give you a memory trick to help you remember when to use which word. If you have words that confuse you, use the Ask PTB tab on the website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they may appear here soon!
This week’s words are a different play on words and a lesson on language. A friend sent this photo to me asking if “artefacts” was correct. I told her I didn’t think it was and would use it for Confusing Words of the Week. Well, once I started researching both “artifacts” and “artefacts,” I discovered–once again–that British English is sometimes just slightly different from American English. A lot of the time it is just one letter different. So although confusing, “artifacts” and “artefacts” both mean ” a usually simple object (such as a tool or ornament) showing human workmanship or modification as distinguished from a natural object; something characteristic of or resulting from a particular human institution, period, trend, or individual.”
This week’s memory tip is to remember if you are in America, spell it “artifacts,” and if you are in Great Britain, spell it “artefacts.” And be consistent if you are proofreading something that talks about “artifacts/artefacts” depending on your location and your audience.