Judy Vorfeld Sometimes life gets complicated. Especially if you're writing something and you choose the wrong spelling and the book isn't edited and it is published for millions of people to see. On the other hand, it proves you are human. But there is so much help available that you can find answers to almost anything regarding writing or spelling. I recently read a good novel that used "discrete" instead of "discreet," and promised myself I'd blog about it to help others. Discreet You are discreet when you show self-control in your behavior. You don't call attention to the situation. If you need to leave the room to visit the bathroom, you make a discreet exit. At least I hope so, because probably no one is interested in where you're going. If you watch Downton Abbey, you'll understand what it's like to be discreet. Almost all the gossip is done discreetly, except when the screenwriter wants to create tension. Discrete When you think "discrete," try to think "separate," "distinct." If you think of society, you think of it as a discrete "whole" or "entity" created of individual agents. You could think of a birthday cake created with discrete items: M&Ms, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, candied fruit, etc. On the other hand, you might say the cake had lots of goodies in it. There's also something mathematical about "discrete," but I either got low grades or flunked mathematics, so I'll just say that in math, discrete has to do with finite or countable sets of value. Or something.
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