Posts by Alya Hameed

  1. “Hispanic” vs. “Latino”: When To Use Each Term

    by Alyssa Pereira From boxes on census forms to drop-down menus on job applications, we often see Hispanic and Latino positioned side by side, seemingly as interchangeable terms to describe the race and heritage of a population that makes up nearly 20% of the United States. It’s easy to see why these two words are so often conflated and frequently confused. But Hispanic and Latino …

  2. 10 Songs You Had No Idea Were Inspired By Literature

    Sometimes it’s hard not to hum that song that’s stuck in your head. It’s also incredibly satisfying when you’re able to hum it all the way through. What you may not realize, however, is that sometimes as you hum your favorite earworm, you might be humming about a piece of literature, motifs and all. Take a look at the rock songs below, and see which …

  3. What Does It Mean To “Defund The Police”? Trending Words In News About Policing

    As the George Floyd protests have grown and spread, many activists have been calling to defund the police. Whether chanted in demonstrations or posted as hashtags on social media, the phrase defund the police has proven to be a forceful rallying cry. People are listening. But, people are also asking questions. What does it mean, exactly, to defund the police? Indeed, it seems many people …

  4. How The George Floyd Protests Have Powerfully Changed Search Trends on Dictionary.com

    The protests against racism and police brutality, spurred by George Floyd—a Black man who was killed after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes—have expanded in size and scope across the entire world. The protests have, in turn, spurred the beginnings of everything from deep, uncomfortable reflections to institutional change and reform. And Dictionary.com has seen significant search …

  5. What Are Antibodies, And Do They Kill Viruses?

    Terms and concepts to understand coronavirus antibody testing by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com Testing continues to be a major story—and concern—amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes diagnostic testing to determine if one is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. It also includes serological tests to determine if a person has antibodies that can signal immunity to COVID-19. But what does serological …

  6. Coronavirus: The Words You Need To Understand The News

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com The situation of the coronavirus outbreak is changing fast. And news and information about the disease can be overwhelming, not least of which are the many new, confusing, and technical terms being used about the outbreak. Understanding these terms is essential to helping people stay informed and safe—and we take seriously our role in defining and explaining …

  7. Dictionary.com Adds Coronavirus Words To The Dictionary

    Normally, we track new words for years before seeing enough evidence to convince us they have the staying power to merit inclusion in our traditional dictionary. Well, it’s not a normal day at the office. We’re all working at home, for one thing. COVID-19 has changed the dictionary world as suddenly and profoundly as it has changed all of our personal and professional lives. In …

  8. How To Make Learning Fun: Using Playtime To Build Literacy

    By Lindsay Barrett We all want our kids to learn what they need to be successful. But guess what most kids want to do? Play! And let’s face it: we adults want to play, too. But learning and playtime can, and should, happily overlap. A growing body of research highlights the many benefits of open-ended play activities like building, pretending, creating, and just getting all-around …

  9. How Young People Are Redefining “Transgender” And “Nonbinary”

    by Rory Gory While not all transgender or nonbinary people can or want to be visible in society, having language to describe gender identity and expression is extremely important. It helps avoid their erasure in legislation. Language that affirms gender identity—including names, pronouns, and labels—can even be lifesaving for young people. Specific words that communicate the complexities of gender identity, such as agender, demigirl, bigender, …

  10. “Virus” vs. “Bacteria”: What’s The Difference?

    It’s easy to confuse viruses and bacteria. They are both extremely tiny, for one thing, and, depending on what kind of bug you get, they can make you sick. OK, “extremely tiny” and “make you sick”? We do have technical words for these things. Viruses and bacteria are microscopic, meaning they are too small to see with the unaided eye. And pathogens are “disease-producing agents,” …