Calibration vs collaboration

Calibration and collaboration 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 confused in usage. Two words or more than two 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, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. 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 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 for learning commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study. 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 calibration and collaboration, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Calibration is the act of assessing or correlating an instrument or readings to make sure they are accurate and standardized. The word calibration is the noun form of the verb, calibrate; both words came into use in the mid-1800s and are derived from the French word, calibre, meaning the inside diameter of a gun. Related words are calibrate, calibrates, calibrated, calibrating, calibrator.

Collaboration means the act of working with others on a project or creating something in conjunction with others. The word collaboration is the noun form of the verb, collaborate; related words are collaborates, collaborated, collaborating, collaborative, collaboratively, collaborator. During World War II, collaborate also came to mean to cooperate with the enemy, as a back-formation of collaborator. Collaborate comes from the Late Latin word, collabōrāre, meaning to come together or to work together.


True ADAS calibration professionals realize that every requirement and instruction set forth by the vehicle OE is there for reason and that shortcuts have no business being taken on the shop floor. (Collision Repair Magazine)

This calibration allows quasars to be used as standardized candles. (Oxford Academic Journals)

“I should also note that the Aukus discussion is a further indication of the growing depth of collaboration … between our two nations and the UK,” he said. (The Guardian)

WHO chief expects collaboration of China, others on virus origins follow-up (Reuters)

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