Yearly Archives: 2019

  1. Getty

    What’s It Called When You Can “Taste” A Word Or “See” A Sound?

    Is it possible to see a taste? Or taste a word? The answer is yes, sort of. What is synesthesia? An involuntary neurological condition called synesthesia, which is also spelled synaesthesia, describes a version of this experience.Synesthesia is “a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization of a certain …

  2. What Is The Difference Between “Anyway,” “Anyways,” And “Any Way”?

    Which word is it, anyway? Anyway is a common adverb used to mean “in any case,” while any way is an adjective-noun phrase that means “whichever path” or “in any manner.” Anyways is the informal form of anyway. While less common in formal writing, anyways abounds in everyday speech or dialogue. It often signals a transition. Anyway Anyway, used as an adverb, suggests a disregard …

  3. What’s The Difference Between “Imminent,” “Immanent,” And “Eminent”?

    When something is imminent, that means it’s “impending.”  Immanent isn’t a typo; it means “inherent.” And, e minent means “distinguished.” Now that that is cleared up … how do you use each of these in a sentence? How to use imminent in a sentence Imminent means “likely to occur at any moment or impending.” It refers to something that’s approaching, about to happen, anticipated, or threatening …

  4. Getty

    “Flammable” vs. “Inflammable”

    English is a trickster of a language, evidenced by the fact that two words that appear to be antonyms can actually mean the exact same thing. However, every once in a while we come across a pair of words that it really would be better to not confuse. A fine example of this is flammable and inflammable. Why are these two words so confusing? Well, flammable and …

  5. Getty

    What Is The Medical Term For “Belly Button”?

    Some of us get squeamish at the sight of them. Some of us shoot studs into them. And, no two are exactly alike, even for identical twins. We’re here to talk about belly buttons, folks. What actually is a belly button? The belly button is an informal term for the navel. It refers to the scar on the abdomen that is caused when the umbilical …

  6. Grey vs. Gray

    Grey and gray are both accepted in the English language. They refer to a color of a neutral tone between black and white, and can also be used metaphorically to convey gloom and dullness. However, gray is the more popular spelling in the US, while grey reigns supreme in the UK as well as Ireland, Australia, and other places that use British English. For centuries, …

  7. This Quiz Will Fuel Your Inner Fictioneer

    Don’t stymie a good time(y), take this Word of the Day Quiz! | June 3 – June 9, 2019 If the quiz doesn’t display, please try opening in the Chrome browser. Tell us your favorite word from this week below (and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter)!

  8. Getty

    Is There A Difference Between A “Symphony,” “Orchestra,” And “Philharmonic”?

    If you want to see some live classical music, you could go to the New York Philharmonic, for instance, or the Chicago Symphony. Are they the same? Are they different? Why is English so confusing? OK, we are going to stop playing the world’s smallest violin and get to the base—er, bass—of it. First, what is an orchestra? An orchestra is “a group of performers on …

  9. Getty

    Why Are Singing Groups Called “Glee Clubs”?

    These infamously chipper singing groups are called glee because the melding of voices makes everyone happy, right? Actually, joy has little to do with it. Why are they really called glee clubs? Yes, one definition of glee is “open delight or pleasure,” e.g., The students ran out of the building on the last day of school with glee.Glee derives from the Old English glēo, meaning “mirth, jesting, …

  10. Getty

    How Are Newly Discovered Chemical Elements Named?

    In 2011, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) recognized the discovery of two new chemical elements: flerovium and livermorium. With the chemical symbols of Fl and Lv, these names became official in 2012. Until the discovery of these predicted elements occurred, they were known as ununquadium and ununhexium, which is scientific Latin for 114 and 116, respectively. These numbers correspond to their atomic …

  11. Getty

    What Does “Betelgeuse” Mean?

    What is Betelgeuse? No, it’s not the lovably creepy character played by Michael Keaton in the 1988 Tim Burton movie Beetlejuice, though many folks pronounce them roughly the same way. We’re talking about the red supergiant star in the constellation Orion. That Betelgeuse, and its 20 times more massive than the Sun and nearly 650 light-years away. That’s almost 4 quadrillion miles away. So, how did the …

  12. Redefine Black: Why Dictionary.com Is Updating Its Definition

    Update: Dictionary.com lexicographers have completed updates of our current entry for the word Black. Read on to find out why we’ve decided to revise this particular entry. At Dictionary.com we take words very seriously. They are foundational to how individuals think about themselves, and they can influence the perceptions of others. When it comes to the language of identity, the words we use are especially important. …