Professional Style

Faze vs. Phase

December 2012
Spot the Error

Having rebellious teenagers at home does not phase Roberta; she understands that most kids have periods of defiance.

Although the teenage years can be a trying phase, there are ways for parents to remain unfazed by their children’s behavior.

Yes, two more homophones to add to your collection—faze and phase. Phase is defined as a distinguishable part in a course, development, or cycle. For example:

Sophie, who is now three years old, is in a delightful phase of childhood.

Faze, on the other hand, means to disturb the composure of.

One thing that fazes me are cars that act as rolling speakers, blasting forth rap music for the enjoyment of the whole neighborhood!

So, in the “rebellious teenagers” sentence above, Roberta is not fazed by her kids’ behavior.

Here’s a mnemonic device to keep the two straight. If something fazes you, it’s going to show in your face. Your face may get twisted up (work with me here) and look like the “z” in faze.

How’s that for a mnemonic device!

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