Word Facts

  1. “Native American” Isn’t The Same As “native American”: Here’s Why

    These days, social media is glut with excited folks who are sending off their cheek swabs to find out just what’s hiding in their DNA. Will they find out they had an ancestor on the Mayflower? Or, maybe there was a Native American who played a role in their genes along the way. That would make them Native American too, right? Well, the definition of …

  2. 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 …

  3. 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 …

  4. 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 …

  5. 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 …

  6. Ghost Words That Are Haunting The Dictionary

  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. Empathy vs. Sympathy: Which Word To Use And When

    How are empathy and sympathy the same? The terms empathy and sympathy are often confused and with good reason. Both of the words deal with the relationship a person has to the feelings and experiences of another person. So, let’s explore the differences between these terms and how they are most commonly used. Both sympathy and empathy have roots in the Greek term páthos meaning “suffering, feeling.” What …

  10. Why Does The Letter Q Almost Always Need The Letter U?

    Scrabble players are acutely aware that Q is a tricky letter. To use a Q in the game, a player must also find an available U. The fact that Q is the second most rarely used letter in the alphabet certainly doesn’t make using Q any easier. Let’s quest toward resolving the questions of quarrelsome Q, the 17th letter in the alphabet. How do Q …

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