Never Make This Maddening English Language Mistake Ever Again – “Moral Support” vs “Morale Support”

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME
Founder, Break Diving, Inc.

It bothers me that 99% of native English speakers don’t even know proper English.

What am I talking about?

Often, I will hear someone say, “I was feeling sad, so my friend gave me some moral support.”  But think about the word ‘moral’.   “Moral”, pronounced: MORE-uhl.  What does moral mean?  It means: right or wrong. 

Think about this.  Does that sentence then make any sense:  “I was feeling sad, so my friend gave me some moral support.”  That should sound pretty stupid to you now. 

Let’s translate it: “I was feeling sad so my friend gave me some right and wrong support, i.e. he helped me make a moral decision.”   So, no, it does not make any sense.  When you are sad, you are not looking for help making a decision about right or wrong—you are looking for someone to cheer you up!  Am I right?  Yes, I’m right.  It was a rhetorical question 😃

Well, if that’s wrong, why do people say it? 

Well, let’s think about it for a moment.  What similar word also looks like “moral” but means “cheer me up”.

I’ll give you a moment to think about it…   

Hint: you just add one letter to the end of ‘moral’

Ready to give up?

The answer: “morale”, with an ‘e’. 

Pronounced: more AL. 

Think about it:  “He has low morale right now” = “He is sad”, right?   And, “I am so excited!  I got accepted into college!  My morale is so high right now!” = “I feel great!”

So, you can never say, “I was feeling sad, so my friend game me some moral support.”  That just makes you sound stupid to the people who know English well. 

So what you want to say is, “I was feeling sad, so my friend game me some morale support.”  Notice the ‘e’?  Pronounced: more AL

Okay, then is there every a right time to use ‘moral support’?  

Yes, like this: “I wasn’t sure if I should steal the money from the old man, but then my friend game me some moral support, and I decided the right thing to do would be to leave the man’s money alone.”  Get it?  “moral support” is about right and wrong.

In conclusion, let me give you some moral support: Please never make this evil mistake again.   And now, let me give you some morale support: knowing this bit of grammar now puts you in the top 1% of the top 1% of English speakers.  Be proud!  And please don’t let anyone else get away with this mistake again.  It makes me want to throw up every time I hear it! 😃

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