Homonym troubles

A reader wrote to point out a mistake in this sentence:

Most locals might know the 54-year-old Italian artist as a cake decorator who creates photo-like images with a palate knife and icing.

The writer confused “palate,” which can refer to taste, and “palette,” the flat piece that artists use to hold and mix paints. A palette knife is a tool artists use in painting and mixing paints. The story was about a man who was a baker as well as an artist. Maybe that’s why the writer confused the words. The reader correctly notes that editors should have caught that error.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.