Third Wednesday: Ridged vs. Rigid

Sometimes I wonder whether we misuse sound-alike words because we don’t clearly hear the difference.  But the wrong word can lead to a sentence like this.

“Society has such ridged laws.”


Ridged– marked by a ridge or a series of ridges.

Rosemary will only eat ridged potato chips.

The territory was so ridged that hunters could not see their prey approaching from a distance.


Rigid – not flexible or bendable.  Severe, exacting; rigorous, precise.

The headmaster applied a more rigid set of rules to the boys attending on scholarship than on the paying students.

Hilary’s idea of propriety was as rigid as the flagpole outside her front door.


Here’s another look at Ridged and Rigid.


Jason’s back went ridged when he heard Darren insult his wife.

The corduroy’s rigid nap was narrower than Laura’s preference.


Adding a ridged metal roof made the old homeplace appear modern.

The only thing more rigid than the wall of the parking garage was Matilda’s determination to fit her 1958 Chrysler into the space reserved for compact cars.

Harry Beezeman had to find a rigid support for the ridged roof over his carport until he could replace the rotten post.


Have any misused words you’d like to see featured in a Third Wednesday post?  Leave a comment and tell us which words give you problems, or that you’ve seen misused in books.  We’ll help you sort them out here.