Fazed - phased

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Confusing these two is one of the most common spelling errors in The Guardian (Marsh and Marshall, 2004).

  • Processes, plans and developments may be phased (~ 'introduced in stages'). So, in a different sense, may be wireless and electricity - including lighting effects at discos, etc.
  • People, and occasionally other animals, may be fazed (~ 'startled', 'surprised' or 'discomposed').
Do not confuse these two. It is easiest in most academic English to avoid fazed altogether - and only to use phased if you are working in the sort of technological subject, like Management or Electrical Engineering, where you have to.

The then Poet Laureate Robert Bridges pointed out a homophone of phase with fays, the plural of 'fay', a more or less obsolete spelling of fairy, in his List VII of category: Bridges homophones. See Phase - fays.