Posts by Dictionary.com

  1. Is Veterans Day A Big Grammar Mistake?

    What do apostrophes have to do with this federal holiday? Well, there’s a confusing apostrophe in Veterans’ Day—or is there? Veterans Day is often incorrectly written as “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day.” But, in fact, it’s apostrophe free. “Veteran’s Day” would definitely be incorrect because it means a day for only one veteran. While “Veterans’ Day” does encompass multiple veterans, that spelling is incorrect according …

  2. What’s The Difference Between Morals And Ethics?

    Maybe you’ve heard these terms and wondered what the difference is. A lot of people think of them as being the same thing. While they’re closely related concepts, morals refer mainly to guiding principles, and ethics refer to specific rules and actions, or behaviors. A moral precept is an idea or opinion that’s driven by a desire to be good. An ethical code is a …

  3. Who Is Wednesday Named For?

    Where did the name Wednesday come from? Surprise, surprise … Wednesday Addams wasn’t the originator of the name. In fact, the name Wednesday actually derives from two mighty but distinct gods. The Old English word for Wednesday indicates that the day was named for the Germanic god Woden. In Romance languages, the name is derived from the Roman god Mercury. (For example, Wednesday is mercredi in French and miercuri …

  4. What’s The Difference Between Socialism And Communism?

    What is the difference between socialism and communism? Socialism has three main meanings: 1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. 2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory. 3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a …

  5. “Spring Forward, Fall Back” And Other Memory Tricks You’ve Probably Forgotten

    At the beginning of Daylight-Saving Time, we all spring our clocks forward one hour … and gripe about losing an hour of sleep. Then, we all turn around a few months later, fall back, and thank our lucky stars that we get some extra shuteye. The official term for it is daylight-saving time or daylight-savings time (because we all ended up saying this version more … …

  6. Why November Is The 11th Month

    A new November has arrived, and whether it means pulling out your winter coat, adding another blanket to your bed, or searching for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe, it’s time to begin preparation for the winter months. The etymology of our 11th month, however, speaks little to its role in the course of the year. November follows the same pattern as the months before it, …

  7. What’s The Difference Between Mistrust And Distrust?

    Trust us on this one. There’s a difference between these two. Distrust is a complete lack of trust, and it’s often based on experience. Mistrust is a general lack of trust or confidence, sometimes based on instinct. Both words can be used as either verbs or nouns. As adjectives, they’re distrustful and mistrustful, respectively. Distrust tends to be used far more frequently than mistrust. What …

  8. Can You Use All 8 Types Of Pronouns Today?

    We talk a lot about pronouns today, especially she/hers, he/him, and of course the age-old palaver over the singular they. But, if you’re really going to dig into your pronouns, shouldn’t you know all the types that are out there? We’re here to help. Certain types of pronouns closely relate to one another, and many words can function as multiple different types of pronouns, depending …

  9. The Day After Halloween Is Actually Called Hallowmas

    Halloween is actually just the beginning of a string of otherworldly holidays. The tricks, treats, and customs of Halloween, now mostly secular, are based in part on an ancient Christian festival that spans November 1st and 2nd. What is Hallowmas? November 1st is All Saints’ Day, when all saints—known and unknown—are recognized. The Roman Catholic Church’s official name for All Saints Day is Solemnity of All Saints’ Day, …

  10. Why Do We Say “Trick or Treat”?

    It’s many kids’ favorite part of Halloween. There’s no feeling quite like waiting for a stranger to open their door so you can scream the words “Trick or treat”! But, why do we say it? What does it actually mean? The practice of donning a costume and asking for treats from your neighbors actually dates back to the Middle Ages … but back then it wasn’t a …

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