Word Facts

  1. elderly woman making silly face

    “Psychopath” vs. “Sociopath”

    Think of your classic con artist: they lie, they’re manipulative, they don’t care about anyone else, and they lack remorse. Are these criminals psychopaths? Sociopaths? Both? People tend to think that a sociopath is a psychopath who doesn’t go around doing criminal things. Likewise, psycho remains shorthand for all kinds of deviant antisocial behavior, from stalking to murder. We’ve got some news for you. Despite …

  2. “Lethologica” vs. “Lethonomia”: What Do These Terms Mean And How Are They Different?

    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 …

  3. Why Do We Use Symbols To Censor Swearwords?

    When the force of a swearword is too extreme (but some form of cuss must be used) symbolic stand-ins have long been used for lewdness. Suffice it to say, any emotional keyboard-striker can blurt out something that people perceive as a sub for swears. Whether it’s to diminish the force of swear, to get around censorship rules, or maybe just because symbols are @#$%ing cool to look at, …

  4. The Deep Web vs. The Dark Web: Do You Know The Difference?

    Have you ever wandered the recesses of the deep web and dark web? Or have you simply wondered what these expressions mean? These two terms are just as mysterious as they sound, but they’re not synonyms, despite how similar they may seem at first glance. There’s a lot of confusion out there about how to distinguish between these two terms, which both define hidden aspects of the Internet. …

  5. Manslaughter vs. Murder: Differences In Intent And Degree

    How can a person cause the death of another without the act being considered a murder? In US law, it can come down to differences between manslaughter and murder—which comes down to differences in intent and degree. What does manslaughter mean? Manslaughter, simply defined, is “the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought.” US law designates two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. …

  6. “Macaroon” vs. “Macaron”: What’s The Difference Between These Sweet Treats?

    If you’re a dessert lover, there’s a good chance that you enjoy both a rich coconut cluster cookie as well as a delicate almond cookie with a buttercream center. But which of these treats is a macaroon and which is a macaron? And did you know they were two different, albeit delicious, things? Although most foodies know the difference between these beloved cookies, many people …

  7. Absentee Ballot vs. Mail-In Ballot: Is There A Difference?

    As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t already challenging enough, the US will be holding a general election in the midst of it. Many people are rightfully concerned that traditional, in-person voting could spread COVID-19, and so some states are changing (or considering changing) their voting rules to make it easier for eligible people to vote by mail. Voting by mail can be done by what’s …

  8. Have You Been Pronouncing These US Places Correctly?

    This woman took a road trip across the US and found out she was pronouncing a lot of state and city names ... wrong. Have you been pronouncing them incorrectly too?
  9. These Words Are Not Acronyms (But People Think They Are)

  10. “Goth” vs. “Emo”: What’s The Difference?

    It’s finally time to settle one of the most annoying mixed-up meanings in modern times … at least for goths (and the emo crowd). You’ve almost certainly heard of both goth and emo, but do you know that each of these are actually rather distinct terms, especially for fans of either music genre and lifestyle? Below, we’ll break down the meaning and differences of both …