During a recent trip with my kids, we started playing word games to pass the time in the airport and on the plane. A new game we came up with was to start naming pairs of words that differ by only one letter.
We came up with quite a few simple word pairs, such as cat/bat; rate/date; purr/pure. But the game made me wonder about longer word pairs and how the one-letter difference changed the meanings in interesting ways.
After several searches through online dictionaries, Scrabble dictionaries, blogs, and an article from Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics,* here is a list of such words.
• Accent /accept
• Hiss/ kiss
• Installation/ instillation
• Land/ laud
• Major/ mayor
• Prescription/ proscription
• Quart/ quartz
• Quest/ guest
• Whistle/ whittle
How about you, my fellow wordsmiths? Which pair is your favorite? Any other word pairs to add to the list?
*And yes. There is such a publication as Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. I am now a subscriber.
Laura Hale Brockway is writer and editor from Austin, Texas. Read more of her work on PR Daily and at Impertinent Remarks.