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Naval and navel - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Naval and navel - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Know the difference between naval and navel? If you do, I salute you. Many writers do not.

Plenty of speakers cannot differentiate between these two terms, either, but that’s almost a moot point, as naval and navel are homonyms (like-sounding words).

Here’s the drill on naval and navel.

Naval points to a maritime, seafaring, or ocean-worthy meaning. It’s related to the word Navy.

Navel is all about the abdomen, pointing to the spot where the umbilical cord was affixed before (and perhaps shortly after) birth. The navel is the belly button.  Oranges may have navels as well, tagged such because of their resemblance to the human navel.

Let’s try an example of the proper use of naval and navel.

The naval officer tucked in his shirt, hiding his navel. Next, he picked up a navel orange and peeled it.

That’s novel, the naval officer said to himself. Never have I enjoyed such a nutritiously delicious navel orange, while noshing on a naval voyage.

Misused word pair
Created by this user
At CoolText
 Abused and misused word graphics
adapted from public domain artwork

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  1. I knew the difference before reading your post!!! Yea!! And I'm def. signing up to get your post via e-mail. Writers can always use the grammar help. So glad you're doing this!

  2. Wonderful example!
    Having studied English as a second language is an advantage as I had to learn the words in a different way than native speakers. :)

  3. Cool topic! I did know the difference, thankfully :)

  4. This was fun. I did actually know the difference, but I really enjoyed your sentences using naval and navel appropriately.

  5. I know the difference but it's amazing how people tend to mix them up sometimes in writing, even though they know the difference.

  6. So is it a naval orange or a navel orange? In other words, do they float in the ocean or have belly buttons?

  7. This made me giggle - I didn't know people could mix these up - but a mix up could be quite entertaining.


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