A TV news story about a child being burnt in a bath of hot water had a ‘super’ (words written on the screen) saying a child had been SCOLDED.
The proper word should have been SCALDED.
To be SCOLDED is to be angrily criticized or reprimanded.
I imagine the person who confused SCALDED with SCOLDED was scolded for their mistake. In this case, where the words are written on the screen, the mistake is obvious.
I think obvious mistakes make news organisations look unreliable. A large portion of people who still get their news from television are ‘more mature’ and they were probably taught the difference between SCOLD and SCALD.
When I help newsrooms (broadcast and print) avoid common word confusion mistakes, I use simple memory devices – because spell check will not pick up words that are proper words – just not the RIGHT word you need – like the SCOLD/SCALD confusion.
We work through commonly confused words in news stories – and simple (often visual) memory devices.
Here are easy ways to remember SCOLD/SCALD.
scOLDed is when you are ‘tOLD off’ (criticised)
SCALD – is ‘the other use’ – when something or someone is burned in hot water.
if someone is sCALded you better CALL the ambulance.
There’s the audio CALL reminder.
I also encourage writers to remember a picture (a visual reminder) of an ambulance with a big A on it – so they remember to use scAld with an A. Simple (even child-like) memory devices help you choose the right word when you are writing under deadline pressure.
From my Italian lessons at school, I remember CALDO means hot.
So, you are sCALDed in HOT (Caldo) water.
…and just a word of warning when traveling in Italy. Many English speaking tourists have been SCALDED by turning on the hot tap (Caldo marked with a ‘C’) thinking it’s the Cold tap.
I hope that helps you remember when to use SCOLD and when to use SCALD.