interment vs internment

Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.

Interment means burial -- the act of placing the deceased in a grave or tomb. The word is often confused with the word "internment" (with an "n"), which means confinement or imprisonment, especially in wartime. It is easy to confuse words that sound similar but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Because both are legitimate words, a computer spell checker typically will not catch errors on usage.

The word "interment" is often used in genealogy to refer to the place of burial of deceased ancestors. In the course of compiling a family history, genealogists may find a need for both words. It is good for genealogists to be aware of the confusion and carefully make the distinction between words.

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