Posts by Dictionary.com

  1. The Deep Web vs. The Dark Web: Do You Know The Difference?

    Have you ever wandered the recesses of the deep web and dark web? Or have you simply wondered what these expressions mean? These two terms are just as mysterious as they sound, but they’re not synonyms, despite how similar they may seem at first glance. There’s a lot of confusion out there about how to distinguish between these two terms, which both define hidden aspects of the Internet. …

  2. Manslaughter vs. Murder: Differences In Intent And Degree

    How can a person cause the death of another without the act being considered a murder? In US law, it can come down to differences between manslaughter and murder—which comes down to differences in intent and degree. What does manslaughter mean? Manslaughter, simply defined, is “the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.” US law designates two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. …

  3. What Are The 6 Major Punctuation Marks?

    What happens when you mix up your punctuation? Well, there’s a million hilarious examples of grammatical mixups that point out the difference between—for example, Let’s eat Grandma vs. Let’s eat, Grandma. There’s even a grammar book named after the phrase eats shoots and leaves, which is what a panda does (as opposed to eats, shoots and leaves). What a difference one comma can make! But …

  4. How Did The Month Of May Get Its Name?

    May may seem like a little simple name, but its origin is actually fairly complex and interesting. Sit back and read up on this little word’s … big history. What does May mean? The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, May, is defined as “the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days.” Got it. But where did this name come from? The name for …

  5. Why Is The Name “Jack” Used In So Many Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales?

    Since Jack went up the hill with Jill, Jack jumped over the candlestick, and Jack climbed the beanstalk (to name just a few of his exploits,) he must be wiped out. Doesn’t it seem like a disproportionate number of nursery rhymes and fairy tales contain a hero named Jack? Is this just a coincidence? What’s a nursery rhyme vs. a fairy tale?  First things first, …

  6. How Do You Add Emphasis With Italics?

    If you’re thinking of using italics to emphasize words, keep in mind that the type of writing you do—and what style guide you follow—will determine how you use italics. Italics are typically used to show emphasis (For example: “I don’t care what he thinks. I do what I want!”) or to indicate titles of stand-alone works (Black Panther, Lost in Translation). Different style guides have …

  7. What Are The 100 Most Common Words In English?

    The words we’ve compiled here probably look familiar: they are the 100 most frequently written words in the English language. Many of the most frequently used words in English are important, fundamental parts of speech like articles, conjunctions, and prepositions. If those terms sound like gobbledygook to you, or you haven’t heard them since third grade English class, we understand. So we’re going to give …

  8. What Are Good Transition Words?

    Imagine this: you’re writing an essay and just jotted down a particularly insightful point. You’ve backed it up with examples, and are feeling pretty good about your work … so, what comes next? If you answered, “a transition word,” you’re right! Transition words do the hard work of connecting one sentence or paragraph to the next. A transition—which sometimes requires a phrase or full sentence—can …

  9. 5 Types Of Nouns That We Use All The Time

    Nouns come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. The major ones are common nouns, proper nouns, abstract nouns, possessive nouns, and collective nouns. First, what is a noun? A noun is a person, place, or thing. The category of things may sound super vague, but in this case it means inanimate objects, abstract concepts, and activities. Phrases and other parts of speech can also …

  10. How Did April 1 Become “April Fools’ Day”?

    For pranksters and mischievous older siblings all around the world, April Fools’ Day, also called All Fools’ Day, is as eagerly anticipated as Christmas. After all, what other holiday encourages you to think up practical jokes and fool’s errands, from swapping your spouse’s keys to tricking your friend into thinking their car got towed? (Not cool, Steve.) But how did this odd, prank-centric holiday come …