Taught and Taut

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Taught and Taut :

Students are taught.

Ropes are pulled taut.

I am told that medical personnel often mistakenly refer to a patient’s abdomen as “taunt” rather than the correct “taut.” “Taunt” (“tease” or “mock” ) can be a verb or noun, but never an adjective. “Taut” means “tight, distended,” and is always an adjective.

Don’t confuse “taunt” with “tout,” which means “promote,” as in “Senator Bilgewater has been touted as a Presidential candidate.” You tout somebody you admire and taunt someone that you don’t.

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