compliment and complement

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We see this mixup a lot, like, a lot a lot:

I thanked him for his complement and continued my walk.
Obviously the word they mean is Compliment, an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration; a complement is something that completes or makes perfect. Since most folks evidently don't know that there's a word for something that completes, you're more likely to see ement used to mean iment.

A compilement, on the other hand, is something compiled; a complotment, a plotting together; compla-, complo-, complu-, and complyments are not words.