Sunday, May 29, 2011

day 108: weary vs wary

The other day as I was reading aloud to my sons out of a book about Clara Barton, I came across a sentence that i read, then re-read, then re-read again. It was about Clara Barton, the founder of the US Red Cross during the Civil War, becoming weary on the battle front. I was sure that the author had misused the word weary--and really needed wary. It was then and there that I decided that the concept of weary and wary warranted its own "Tricky Trick to Help It Stick"!

Weary is a word that means tired or overwhelmed from something, such as too much work, no rest, difficult circumstances, etc.

Wary is a word that means to be paranoid or suspicious.

Both words are adjectives, meaning they describe nouns (or sometimes pronouns, in the case of predicate adjectives: I am weary.).

So, what can we use for a Tricky Trick?

Well, I will propose one that has worked for me since my Clara Barton encounter--see if it helps you as well:

1. The day was dreary, so she grew weary--just remember that the spellings are the same--dreary and weary (dreary weather makes you tired or weary!).

2. The  salesman was scary, so the buyers were wary--just remember that the spellings are the same--scary and wary (a scary saleperson makes you wary or suspicious/paranoid).

Now, I hope you don't get weary in your grammar studies--or wary when you write a sentence using weary/wary! 

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