Abject or object

  • Abject and object are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables is a catch-all term for words that are often misused or confused; there are many confusing words in the English language that may be easily confused for each other in spoken English and written English. Two words or more than two words, even if they are common words, may be confused because they are similar in spelling, similar in pronunciation, or similar in meaning. These commonly confused words may be pronounced the same way or pronounced differently or may be spelled the same way or spelled differently, or may have different meanings or have almost different meanings; they may be homophones, homonyms, heteronyms, homographs, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. Sometimes, confusables are word constructions that are not proper English words. Confusables often confound native speakers of English, and they may be difficult for ESL students and those learning English to understand. Confusables are misspelled, misused words that have a different meaning from one another and may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or any other part of speech. Spelling rules in English are not dependable; there are many exceptions. Often, the best procedure to learn new words and commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study to understand the difference in spelling and meaning. To learn new words in the English language, one must not only study a spelling words list, one must know the meaning of words in one’s vocabulary word list. It is also helpful to memorize how to correctly pronounce words and to know the etymology of new words or where they are derived from. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell and learn the definitions of words. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a confusable in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables abject and object, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.


    Abject means to the most severe or base degree, the lowest or most servile, the most downcast or humble. Abject is an adjective; the adverb form is abjectly and the noun form is abjectness. The word abject is derived from the Latin word, abicere, which means to cast off.


    Object, when used as a noun, means a material thing, something that exists but is not alive. Object may also mean the purpose of something or the thing that is the focus of an idea or event. In grammar, an object is the part of a sentence—usually a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun—that is affected by a verb’s action. The noun object is derived from the Latin word objicere, which means to present or put forth.Object is also a verb that means to oppose, to be against, to put forth reasons that something is unacceptable. Words related to the verb object are objects, objected, objecting, objection. The verb object is derived from the Latin word obiectare, which means to put forth arguments in opposition.


    Congress legislator T. Siddique moved an adjournment notice to discuss the government’s abject failure to rehabilitate the survivors of the landslips in Wayanad (Puthumala-2019), Idukki (Pettimudy-2021), and Malappuram (Kavalapara-2019). (The Hindu)

    Kate Eastman SC, the counsel assisting, asked a health department official if she accepted the rollout had been an “abject failure”. (The Guardian)

    The objects are reported to have been seen by multiple witnesses across Arizona over the space of around 106 minutes. (The U.S. Sun)

    “There is no evidence of any wrongdoing here and I object to the release of the returns not only on behalf of my client but on behalf of all future holders of the Office of the President of the United States,” said Trump lawyer Ronald Fischetti in a statement. (Reuters)

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