Words at Play : Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, Vol. 1

#9: Flounder/Founder

Question:

If your ship fills with water and sinks, does it flounder or founder?

Answer:

founder

How to remember it:

When something founders, it loses its foundation. (Founder and foundation have the same root.)

To founder is to collapse, sink, or fail.

One source of confusion here is that the meaning of the verb flounder is similar: to flounder is to struggle to move or get one's footing, or to proceed or act clumsily or ineffectually. People can flounder, but ships founder.

goto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slide
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
March 30, 2015
amphibology Hear it
A phrase with more than one interpretation
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears