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Word comparisons

Note 358 – Comparing morale and moral

A work colleague kindly left a comment to tell me that I had used the word morale instead of moral in Note 353 – Is it ‘formally’ or ‘formerly’? (I could have kicked myself, but thank you!).   The sentence I originally wrote was: “The morale of the blog is:..” which of course should have been “The moral of the blog is…”.  Instead of giving myself lines, I’ve dedicated this post to explaining the difference.  Here are some definitions along with the use of the words in sentences:


Moral comes from the Latin word moralis.   It can be a noun or an adjective and the dictionaries I have looked at show a variety of meanings as follows: 

Moral (as a noun)

  1. “A lesson that can be derived from a story or experience” (source:Oxford, e.g. the moral of the story is that you should never tell lies.
  2. “Standards of behaviour; principles of right and wrong (morals)” (source:Oxford, e.g. The lads that misbehave down the road have no morals.

Moral (as an adjective)

  1. “Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour” (source:Oxford, e.g. The shop had a moral obligation to give the money back.
  2. “Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct” (source:Oxford, e.g. Jim is a very moral man.


According to Oxford, morale is a mid 18th century word coming from the French word moral.  It was re-spelt to “preserve the final stress in pronunciation” (so that it sounds different to moral). The dictionary defines it as “the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time”.

E.g. The morale of the group was very low after the company announced the redundancies.

My thoughts: I won’t be spelling that one wrong again!

That’s all for today.

Until tomorrow…

8 more days of My Writing Challenge to go…


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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