Commonly Confused Words
Troop and a troupe both rhyme with "group," but a troop is a group of soldiers or scouts, while a troupe is a group of performers. To keep these two homophones straight, just remember that troop has two “o”s like soldiers lining up in matching uniforms.
Attention! Spelled with two “o”s and no “e” on the end, troop refers to a squad of soldiers or scouts. A troop marches, fights, keeps order — or, in the case of the Girl Scouts, comes to your door selling cookies. Here are some troops marching in the news:
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said a small contingent of troops, including military police, medical personnel and engineers, would reposition to Eagle Pass to harden ports of entry. (Washington Post)
Army troops from strategic positions in Louisiana and South Carolina, and signed an 1878 bill, backed by Southern Democrats, that limited the use of soldiers in state-level political disorders. (Washington Post)
A troupe is any company of performers, such as dancers, mimes, or comics. Many troupes go on tour. Like dancing? Join a dance troupe! Enjoy making people laugh? Get on the comedy troupe tour bus! Here are some troupes in context:
Company members create their own dances, but the troupe also performs pieces by outside choreographers. (New York Times)Troop and troupe come from the same root word for “a band of people,” but a troop will march into battle, while a troupe will most likely dance, act, or entertain.
One featured a family troupe of musician-puppeteers from northern China, now in its 11th generation, a tradition unfamiliar to most of the audience. (Washington Post)