Weekend vs weakened

Weekend and weakened are 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 weekend and weakened, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

The weekend is the final two days of the week, Saturday and Sunday, which are non-work and non-school days. Generally, Friday evening is considered the beginning of the weekend, and the the end of the weekend is Sunday night. Weekend may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are weekends, weekended, weekending. Note that weekend is one word; it is a closed compound word. The idea of a workless weekend is not universal. In the United States most employees worked six-day weeks until the 1920s or 1930s. Some enlightened employers maintained a five-day workweek in the early twentieth century, but it did not become the norm until the rise of the unions. While Saturday and Sunday constitute the weekend in most Western countries, in most Middle Eastern countries the weekend consists of Friday and Saturday.

Weakened means to diminish in power or strength, to debilitate, to enfeeble, to diminish. Weakened is a verb; related words are weaken, weakens, weakening. The word weakened is derived from the Old English word, wac, meaning pliant.


A new mix of wintry precipitation including snow, sleet and freezing rain was predicted to fall over Middle Tennessee overnight Wednesday into Thursday, and the National Weather Service’s projection for freezing temperatures through Friday means that the frost likely won’t melt until the weekend. (The Tennessean)

Guinea expects to receive more than 11,000 Ebola vaccines this weekend, with more to follow, and inoculations could start as soon as Monday, a health ministry official and the World Health Organization said on Thursday. (Reuters)

A rule that would have greatly weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law protecting birds has been delayed by the Biden administration. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)

Wind speed over the weekend hit above 60 mph in the mountains, and some areas such as Porter Ranch and Santa Clarita experienced gusts above 50 mph, but the force gradually weakened, Hall said.  (Los Angeles Times)

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