Word Facts

  1. How To Know If A Term Is One Words Or Two Words

    English loves to take existing words and smash them together so they act as one unit. This is called compounding. But how do you know if a word is one word or two?
  2. Can You Guess These Words From Their Definitions?

    In this game, one person is going to share the definition of a word they chose. Then, another person has to guess what word it is. You should guess along at home! Don’t worry: we’ll have clues!
  3. “Capital” vs. “Capitol” : Do You Know Where You’re Going?

    Capital and capitol are both commonly used in political contexts and are separated by just one letter, making them frustratingly easy to confuse. When it comes to these two terms, it’s important to note that one has a number of meanings while the other refers to a certain type of building. What is a capital? Capital has many definitions. It can mean “the wealth owned …

  4. What Does “R.I.P.” Stand For?

    R.I.P. is a rather serious concept that’s been turned into an almost comical abbreviation on, you guessed it, the internet! Yet, R.I.P.’s roots have a bit more gravity to them.
  5. “WikiLeaks” vs. “Wikipedia”: Do You Know The Difference?

    How well do you know your wikis? Maybe you’ve heard about a site that releases classified material from whistle-blowers. Or maybe you’re looking for an up-to-date source of historical dates and biographical information. Do you turn to WikiLeaks? Do you search through Wikipedia? The confusion is all the more understandable given that these two sites even look alike. Well, wonder no more. We’re about to leak you …

  6. What’s The Difference Between “Mistrust” vs. “Distrust”?

    Trust us on this one. There’s only a slight difference between these two. In general, distrust and mistrust are considered synonyms, both based on the word trust (although centuries apart).  As nouns, both words refer to a condition of lacking trust, and are effectively interchangeable. As verbs, well, it’s a bit more complicated, as you’ll see. What’s the origin of trust? The word trust is first …

  7. “Unalienable” vs. “Inalienable”: Is There A Difference?

    It’s safe to say that most of us don’t know the entire Declaration of Independence by heart. However, many of us are familiar enough with the document declaring independence from England to know that at one point, it gets into some inalienable rights that all Americans will have. Or was Thomas Jefferson writing about unalienable rights as he was putting quill to paper? Although these …

  8. These Wacky Words Originated In The USA

  9. If A Word Ends In “S,” How Do You Make It Possessive?

    Second only to the use of the Oxford comma, the creation of possessives for words ending in S and the S sound is one of the most hotly debated grammar topics in the English language. The issue isn’t as cut and dried as some grammar rules, such as what punctuation is used to end a declarative sentence. (A period. Why can’t all grammar rules be this …

  10. No One Pronounces These 10 Words The Same

    Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong famously sang about the controversial pronunciations of words like tomato (to-mah-to?), potato (po-tah-to?), either, neither, pajamas, and others in the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” They settled nothing, and people have been debating the right way to say these words ever since.  And those aren’t the only words that send people to opposing corners, either. There are a host …