Word Facts

  1. What Is The Difference Between “Anyway,” “Anyways,” And “Any Way”?

    Which word is it, anyway? Anyway is a common adverb used to mean “in any case,” while any way is an adjective-noun phrase that means “whichever path” or “in any manner.” Anyways is the informal form of anyway. While less common in formal writing, anyways abounds in everyday speech or dialogue. It often signals a transition. Anyway Anyway, used as an adverb, suggests a disregard …

  2. What’s The Difference Between “Imminent,” “Immanent,” And “Eminent”?

    When something is imminent , that means it’s “impending.”  Immanent isn’t a typo; it means “inherent.” And, e minent means “distinguished.” Now that that is cleared up … how do you use each of these in a sentence? How to use imminent in a sentence Imminent means “likely to occur at any moment or impending.” It refers to something that’s approaching, about to happen, anticipated, or …

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    Why Do “Flammable” And “Inflammable” Mean The Same Thing?

    English is a trickster of a language, evidenced by the fact that two words that appear to be antonyms can actually mean the exact same thing. However, every once in a while we come across a pair of words that it really would be better to not confuse. A fine example of this is flammable and inflammable . Why are these two words so confusing? Well, flammable …

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    Is There A Difference Between A “Symphony,” “Orchestra,” And “Philharmonic”?

    If you want to see some live classical music, you could go to the New York Philharmonic, for instance, or the Chicago Symphony. Are they the same? Are they different? Why is English so confusing? OK, we are going to stop playing the world’s smallest violin and get to the base—er, bass—of it. First, what is an orchestra? An orchestra  is “a group of performers …

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    Does “None” Take A Singular Or Plural Verb?

    One is singular, and so takes a singular verb, e.g., There is only one slice of pizza left or One is wise to share. So, none should be singular, too? Not so fast. None can take a singular or plural verb. Why?! First, what is none?  At its most basic level, none means “not one (of something).” It comes from Old English nān, which is equivalent …

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    Are There Any Words That Use “W” As A Vowel?

    A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y … and W? Yes, the letter W can behave as a vowel. It’s time to level up your Scrabble game, people. And, to all our grade-school peeps out there, get ready to knock the socks off your Spelling teacher. First, what is a vowel? A, E, I, O, U, Y, and, as we’ll see, W, are called vowels, but let’s …

  7. English Affixes From A To Z: A One-Stop List Of Suffixes, Prefixes, and Combining Forms

    In English, we love to make new words by adding all sorts of bits to the front and back of existing terms. These are called affixes , and they are added to the base or stem of a word. When attached to the end of word, the affix is called a suffix . And to the beginning? A prefix . Then there are combining forms …

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    What’s The Difference Between “Discreet” And “Discrete”?

    Ah, another confusing pair of homophones (words that sound alike but are different in meaning). And, we’re not going to be discreet about it: these two can be confusing. So, let’s try to keep them discrete. What does discreet mean? Discreet means “judicious in one’s conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature.” Or, more …

  9. https://www.amazon.com/Style-Manual-Guide-Scholarly-Publishing/dp/0873522974

    What Is MLA Style?

    MLA style refers the style recommended by the Modern Language Association (MLA) for preparing scholarly manuscripts and student research papers. It concerns itself with the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation, quotation, and, especially, documentation of sources. What is the MLA? Founded in 1883, the MLA is a leading academic professional organization in the US that promotes scholarship of languages and literature. Aside from its major …

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    Where Does The Phrase “Cut The Mustard” Come From?

    As with many slang and idiomatic phrases, the origin of cut the mustard isn’t so … clear-cut. But, let’s see if we can’t crack this etymological jar open just a bit. What does “cut the mustard” mean? To cut the mustard is “to reach or surpass the desired standard or performance” or more generally “to succeed, to have the ability to do something.” For instance, Beyoncé …

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