Word Facts

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    Why Do We Use Onomatopoeia?

    Few words are as fun to say as onomatopoeia, but what the heck does it mean? Despite its complex look and sound, onomatopoeia actually has a simple function in the English language. It’s defined as “the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.” To put it simply, it’s a word …

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    Cough, Cough: Here Are 10 Different Ways To Say “ough”

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    Dissent vs. Protest: Why Choosing The Right Word Matters

    It seems political conflict in the 2010s has put the words dissent and protest at the center of our vocabulary. More and more, people are speaking out against injustices, voicing opposition to things they disagree with, and organizing to effect change. But, even though dissent and protest are both terms that people can use to describe such forms of disagreement and discontent, they don’t mean the same thing. What is …

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    What Is The Difference Between “Gender” And “Sex”?

    When two words have the same meaning, we call them synonyms. When two words have different meanings but people use them interchangeably, we write articles about what those words actually mean. Take gender and sex. While people substitute one for the other on the regular, their meaning and usage are significantly—and consequentially—different. Because we’re most often talking about human beings when we use these terms, …

  5. Do Zoologists Pick Animal Names Like “Pink Fairy Armadillo”?

  6. Why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Was Pure Poetry

    Politicians and political figures often use anaphora in speeches to emphasize their points. A classic example of anaphora comes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. King uses the anaphoral phrase, “I have a dream,” to start eight consecutive sentences: “I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi . . . will be transformed into an oasis …

  7. Dictionary.com’s Top 10 Grammar Tips

    Read on to see what we consider the top 10 grammar rules to remember. Maybe you'll like grammar a little more afterwards.

  8. What’s The Word For When You Can’t Remember A Word?

    The word was there a second ago. You were just about to say it. And then poof, it was gone, like a gnat buzzing just out of your reach when you’re about to smack it mid-air. So what the heck is going on. Is there a word to describe what you meant to say when you just can’t remember that word? Well, yes! It was …

  9. Why We Need The Serial Comma: 10 Hilarious Real-World Examples

  10. New Year’s vs. New Year: How To Ring In The Year With Good Grammar

    As if the words to “Auld Lang Syne” weren’t difficult enough to remember, ringing in a brand-new year comes with some particularly befuddling grammar landmines. Of course, the punctuation we use when talking about the New Year’s holiday couldn’t do us a solid and follow the same pattern as Veterans Day (note the lack of apostrophe), because … well, that’s the English language for you. Don’t …

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