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Colonel is a military rank - in Britain, only in the army, although other countries have Colonels in the Air Force and various police services. Historically, every regiment was commanded by a Colonel, although this is more typically a Lieutenant Colonel: nowadays, a Colonel typically has a Staff job. Every Regiment also has a Colonel-in-Chief or Colonel of the Regiment. This is an honorary post for ceremonial purposes: members of the royal family hold the position in many regiments.

The word is pronounced in exactly the same way as 'kernel' (the 'meat' of a nut, inside its shell): IPA: /'kɜːrnəl/.

This is one of the 117 mis-spellings listed as 'Common difficulties' in the section on 'Spelling' within 'Writing' in UEfAP.