Yearly Archives: 2019

  1. What Is The Difference Between “Fortnite” And “Fortnight”?

    This week, Lady Gaga lit up Twitter with a simple question: “What’s fortnight?” What’s fortnight — Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 15, 2019 As the viral response to her tweet made plain, Gaga had apparently confused fortnight with the massively popular online video game—and homonym—Fortnite.  Gaga’s question also lit up searches on Dictionary.com for fortnight, which, compared to data from, well, a fortnight ago, went up …

  2. How To Get A Word Into The Dictionary

    “I coined a new word. Snacktabulous. It describes a snack, but a really spectacular and fabulous one. How do I get it into the dictionary?” This is one of the most common questions we get—and it’s a great one. How does a word get added to the dictionary? Our lexicographers, the people who write and edit the dictionary, are constantly adding new words to the …

  3. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/07/29/fascinating-portraits-chiefs-leaders-sioux-native-american-tribe-3/

    Who Are The Sioux And Why Are They Losing Their Language?

    Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera In 2019, the United Nations is raising awareness about the alarming loss of many of the world’s languages through its International Year of Indigenous Languages. In honor of that initiative, we are shining the spotlight on the languages of the Sioux, and the growing movement to preserve and reinvigorate these rich but endangered tongues. Where did …

  4. What Are The Differences Between “Nerds,” “Geeks,” And “Dorks”?

    These names used to be roughly interchangeable when distinguishing the social outcasts from the in-crowd in school. Yet, those so-called social rejects were destined to rule the world in the form of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, et al. “The geek shall inherit the earth,” indeed. Oh yeah, and billions of dollars.  There’s a lot of overlap in the meanings of nerd, geek, and …

  5. What Is The Difference Between “Immigration” vs. “Emigration”?

    Sometimes you’ll see the terms being used interchangeably, but it’s important to understand what these words mean so you can use them correctly. Who are immigrants and what is immigration? An immigrant is “a person who has moved to another country, usually for permanent residence.” Immigration is “the act of immigrating, or the act of moving to another country.” The key to remembering what this …

  6. Comparatives vs. Superlatives

    Not all things are created equal: some are good, others are better, and only the cream of the crop rise to the level of best. These three words—good, better, and best—are examples of the three forms of an adjective or adverb: positive, comparative, and superlative. What is the positive form? The positive form of an adjective or adverb is the basic form listed in a dictionary—e.g., …

  7. Getty

    What Do “a.m.” And “p.m.” Stand For?

    What does “a.m.” mean? The term we associate with the morning, a.m., is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase ante merīdiem meaning “before midday.” What does “p.m.” mean? P.m. is an abbreviation of post merīdiem, meaning—you guessed it—“after midday.” These two terms help keep ambiguity at bay in the 12-hour time system. What does “m” mean? There is a third, lesser-known abbreviation in this system: …

  8. Getty Images

    What Does “Resilience” Mean, And Why Was It Trending?

    All politics, as they say, is personal. That truism definitely rang, well, true in the closing question of the third Democratic debate in Houston, Texas, Thursday, September 12, 2019. One of the moderators, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, asked the ten candidates on “the quality of resilience.” He went on:Every president confronts crises, defeats, and mistakes. So I want to ask each of you, what’s the most …

  9. Are There Any English Words That Have No Vowels?

    It’s a question that just about every English learner has asked: “Are there any English words that have no vowels?” The answer to this depends what you mean by “vowel” and “word.” There are two things we mean by the word vowel: a speech sound made with the vocal tract open, or a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken vowel. Words with no …

  10. “Their” vs. “There” vs. “They’re”: Do You Know The Difference?

    The trio of their, there, and they’re can flummox writers of all levels. It’s confusing; they are homophones, meaning they have the same pronunciation (sound) but differ in meaning and derivation (origin). Even though they sound the same, they aren’t spelled the same … cue the noticeable errors! Let’s explore the correct usages of the three. How do you use their, there, and they’re? These three words serve many …

  11. Why Did “Pandemonium” Trend This Week?

    In the past few weeks, people lined up at Popeyes, a popular restaurant chain known for its Southern-fried chicken, all over the US to get their hands on a hot and hyped new menu item: a chicken sandwich.  On Dictionary.com, meanwhile, we saw our own crowd: searches for pandemonium surged nearly 350% since mid-August, when Popeyes released the sandwich en masse. Searches for pandemonium are …

  12. Words Bookworms Mispronounce Because We Read Them First

    Anyone who has spent nights during their childhood huddled under a comforter with a flashlight (or more recently a flashlight app) lighting up the splayed pages of a book knows that being a bookworm helps you build the sort of vocabulary that earns you eyerolls on the playground and accolades from the teachers. Yet, dedicated bibliophiles know there’s really only one problem that comes with …