Posts by Lauren Levy

  1. “Pragmatic” vs. “Dogmatic”: What Are The Differences?

    Some people have the incredible ability to set their emotions aside and make clear, calm decisions in a crisis. Instead of getting caught up in big-picture ideals or feeling overwhelmed by the scale of a situation, they manage to face the problem head on and address it practically one step at a time. For those who don’t crumble under pressure, does this practical nature make …

  2. “Macaroon” vs. “Macaron”: What’s The Difference Between These Sweet Treats?

    If you’re a dessert lover, there’s a good chance that you enjoy both a rich coconut cluster cookie as well as a delicate almond cookie with a buttercream center. But which of these treats is a macaroon and which is a macaron? And did you know they were two different, albeit delicious, things? Although most foodies know the difference between these beloved cookies, many people …

  3. “Psychic” vs. “Medium”: Are These Synonyms?

    Some people seem to be born with a special intuition to always know things before they happen. Others have a special gift allowing them to see ghosts or talk to the dead. But are people with these unique talents psychics or mediums? And can the words psychic and medium be interchanged? The answer is sometimes; psychic and medium aren’t always synonyms, and despite both having a …

  4. “Fictional,” “Fictitious,” And “Fictive”: Are They Synonyms?

    Although some people absolutely love reading true stories, there are others who have no interest in nonfiction books. Instead, they prefer to dive into stories from made-up universes instead of immersing themselves in facts. So do they prefer fictional novels, fictitious tales, or fictive stories? All three of these adjectives look and sound similar, but are they synonyms that can be interchanged? The answer is …

  5. “Especially” vs. “Specially”

    It can be particularly hard to know the difference between especially and specially. These two words—that can both mean “particularly“—look similar, have similar origins, and in some cases, are interchangeable. Not only are they both adverbs, but the difference in their definitions is so nuanced, it may seem impossible to know when to use especially versus specially correctly. The distinction may seem small, but once you …

  6. “Uncharted” vs. “Unchartered”

    Before you dive into the unknown, there’s one thing you should clear up: are you preparing to venture into uncharted or unchartered territory? We’ll make it easy for you: the answer here is uncharted, since you’re going to explore the unknown. So then what is unchartered? Keep reading for more on how to use each of these words and when. What does uncharted mean? The adjective …

  7. “Hoard” vs. “Horde”: Do You Know The Difference?

    Are you staring at piles and piles of junk and becoming increasingly concerned about the accumulation in, uh, someone‘s apartment? No judgment if you’re asking for “a friend”! We’re here to help you use the right words to describe this problem. To properly examine the issue, we’ve got to get the vocabulary pinned down: does this chaos signal a problem with hoarding? Or the tendency …

  8. “Figuratively” vs. “Literally”

    Although similar and often incorrectly swapped for each other, literally and figuratively have different meanings that can’t really be interchanged. So even if you feel like you literally can’t help confusing the two, this exaggeration may help explain why figuratively is actually the right word in many cases. What does figuratively mean? Figuratively is an adverb of the adjective figurative that means “of the nature …

  9. “Exercise” vs. “Exorcise”: What’s The Difference?

    We hear it all of the time: working out is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But is it exercise or exorcise that healthcare professionals constantly remind us is good for our health? Although some do believe in the importance of exorcise because it means “to free evil spirits,” it’s exercise that has to do with bodily movement that helps to keep us physically and …

  10. “Morbidity” vs. “Mortality”: What Is The Difference?

    Although we’d all love to think we’ll be able to live forever, at some point, we will die. And there’s no way of knowing exactly when that will be. Yes, it’s gloomy to think about this … but is it our morbidity or our mortality that we need to come to terms with? The correct answer here is mortality—although the topic is quite morbid. These …