60-second fix: palate, palette and pallet

Do you know your palates from your palettes from your pallets? It’s a particularly important distinction if you work with food or wine – or, indeed, paints or wooden platforms, writes Cathy Relf.

Of course, it’s blinking typical of English to have three different spellings for one pronunciation. But that’s part of our dear language’s charm.

Take a look at the following observed-in-the-wild examples (which are, on reflection, a little skewed towards wine – make of that what you will) and see if you can spot what’s wrong.

  • Here are 13 ways to develop your wine palette.
  • The house is made of wooden  shipping palettes.
  • Actually we know that children’s palettes develop based on what they are fed from an early age.
  • A little manuka honey titillates then is swept away by a torrent of iceberg-pure acidity once the  wine hits the pallet.

According to the above, the world has gone mad – artists are painting with wine, children are developing their sense of colour based on food choice, and perfectly good wine (iceberg pure, no less) is being thrown at wooden crates. Corblimey.

Here are the definitions, in glorious clarity:

palate
the roof of your mouth

palette
the scoop-shaped board that artists mix paint on

pallet
a flat platform that you transport goods on

We hope your palate receives many good and tasty things as the festive season jingles upon us. Not so much your palette, or your pallet – they tend not to appreciate it.

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