Last Call: The trick to remembering palate vs. palette vs. pallet

Illustration for article titled Last Call: The trick to remembering palate vs. palette vs. pallet
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

I’m not the only Takeout writer who’s read Dreyer’s English, a newly published guide to clarity and style from Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer. It’s a useful book, and more irreverently fun than you’d expect a grammar book to be. But I was surprised, in his chapter on “Confusables”—the words people often mistake for each other—that Dreyer left out my favorite trick for remembering palate vs. palette vs. pallet. (As a food writer, this is a distinction I must have down pat.)


Palate is the roof of the mouth, or a person’s sense of taste. I remember its association with food because palate has the word “ate” inside it.

Palette is a painter’s color board, or a collection of colors or tones used in an artistic piece. I remember it because it the fanciest, painterly sense of palette has the most French-looking ending.


Pallet is a wooden platform often used for shipping or warehouse storage. Those two l’s in the middle make it look sturdiest to me.

I hope this trick helps you as much as it’s helped me. Please deposit any other grammar tricks in the comments, because I can’t get enough.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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Kevin Pang

I use this a lot:

The pitcher implies. The catcher infers.