Miss-Elaineous Proofreading

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Polished English

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Role and roll

I attended a wonderful opera performance this past weekend, but the theatre programme inspired this blog entry by describing an actress’ “leading roll”.

Role is used to describe a part someone may play.  For example, this can be acting, a job, or even a relationship: That actor is best known for playing various roles in Shakespearean plays.  Due to my role as a proofreader, I find myself always on the lookout for grammatical errors. In addition to being the CEO of a large corporation, Suzy’s role as a wife and mother meant she had very little time for herself. 

Roll has a variety of meanings: among other things, it can be something you eat, a cylinder or tube, or a verb indicating motion — check out the link for a complete list of definitions.  Some common uses: I snacked on a warm, buttered roll fresh from the oven. Simon discovered that empty toilet paper rolls made great cat toys. He rolled the dice and hoped to pass Go. The rolling of the ship in the storm made everyone seasick.

Filed under homonym homophone common error

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