Word Facts

  1. 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 …

  2. 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 …

  3. Master The Secrets Of Crosswordese

    Are you a cruciverbalist? A lover of crosswords? If you can immediately recite a long list of obscure words with an excessive amount of vowels, you’re probably an avid crossword solver. And, this set of vocabulary that is full of words more likely to fill in your morning puzzle rather than your everyday conversation is commonly known as crosswordese. Crosswordese words are used by puzzle …

  4. How Do You Use i.e. And e.g.?

    Have you ever been able to keep these two abbreviations straight? We've got a small little life hack to help you out!
  5. Who Wrote The Alphabet Song?

    Whether you learned your ABCs while hanging out with the gang from Sesame Street, from someone in your family, or you were schooled in everything from A to Z in kindergarten, you probably learned the alphabet with the help of the alphabet song. The clever tune is imprinted in the brains of most of us English speakers. When you look up a word in the …

  6. When Do You Use A vs. An?

    There are all sorts of grammar rules out there. But, one of the most basic is determining when you should use the very first letter of the alphabet. Do you know when to use a vs. when you should use an? Let’s break this one down! A vs. an The rule is: Use an before a word beginning with a vowel sound (not letter). It doesn’t matter how the …

  7. Which Words Should You Capitalize In A Title?

    Titles can be confusing—either due to length (we’re looking at you, Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet), punctuation (Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood), or content (sigh, 2002’s Mr. Mom). But, titles can also stump readers and writers across the board due to title case—conventions of which words in a sentence start with capital letters. Have no fear: We’ll walk you through the steps, one …

  8. Are There Any English Words That Have No Vowels?

    It’s a question that just about every English learner has asked: “Are there any English words that have no vowels?” The answer to this depends what you mean by “vowel” and “word.” There are two things we mean by the word vowel: a speech sound made with the vocal tract open or a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken vowel. Words with no …

  9. What is Phonetic Spelling?

    Spelling is how we put words together, but what is phonetic spelling? An alternate way to create words? Well, yes! Phonetic spelling vs. phonetic pronunciation Phonetic spelling is the representation of vocal sounds which express pronunciations of words. It is a system of spelling in which each letter represents invariably the same spoken sound. Some schools may use phonetic pronunciations to help children learn the spelling of difficult …

  10. Is There Such A Thing As A True Synonym?

    Thesauruses present a catalog of synonyms from which we may pick and choose words to put into our writing, but a thesaurus used alone is a very bad thing because there is no such thing as a true synonym. Every word has its particular place in the language. How do synonyms work? To present a group of words that allegedly say the same thing, as …

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