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
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Abused and misused word graphics
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