Word Facts

  1. Where The Bleep Did That Curse Word Come From?

  2. What Are The 6 Major Punctuation Marks?

    What happens when you mix up your punctuation? Well, there’s a million hilarious examples of grammatical mixups that point out the difference between—for example, Let’s eat Grandma vs. Let’s eat, Grandma. There’s even a grammar book named after the phrase eats shoots and leaves, which is what a panda does (as opposed to eats, shoots, and leaves). What a difference a comma can make! But …

  3. “Misinformation” vs. “Disinformation”: Get Informed On The Difference

    Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are all desperate for information. Where did the virus come from? Is there a cure? How can we keep staying safe? Will life get back to normal? In the case of COVID-19, information can be a literal life-saver—when it’s true. Wrong information doesn’t help anyone and can even make things worse. And like a virus, wrong information can spread, causing …

  4. “Psychic” vs. “Medium”: Are These Synonyms?

    Some people seem to be born with a special intuition to always know things before they happen. Others have a special gift allowing them to see ghosts or talk to the dead. But are people with these unique talents psychics or mediums? And can the words psychic and medium be interchanged? The answer is sometimes; psychic and medium aren’t always synonyms, and despite both having a …

  5. Have You Used The Phrase “Get Your Goat” In This Way?

    This family recounts how the phrase "get your goat" inspired them to create a new saying. Have you used this phrase before? Has your family ever created your own word?
  6. “Fictional,” “Fictitious,” And “Fictive”: Are They Synonyms?

    Although some people absolutely love reading true stories, there are others who have no interest in nonfiction books. Instead, they prefer to dive into stories from made-up universes instead of immersing themselves in facts. So do they prefer fictional novels, fictitious tales, or fictive stories? All three of these adjectives look and sound similar, but are they synonyms that can be interchanged? The answer is …

  7. “Especially” vs. “Specially”

    It can be particularly hard to know the difference between especially and specially. These two words—that can both mean “particularly“—look similar, have similar origins, and in some cases, are interchangeable. Not only are they both adverbs, but the difference in their definitions is so nuanced, it may seem impossible to know when to use especially versus specially correctly. The distinction may seem small, but once you …

  8. “Uncharted” vs. “Unchartered”

    Before you dive into the unknown, there’s one thing you should clear up: are you preparing to venture into uncharted or unchartered territory? We’ll make it easy for you: the answer here is uncharted, since you’re going to explore the unknown. So then what is unchartered? Keep reading for more on how to use each of these words and when. What does uncharted mean? The adjective …

  9. How Did The Month Of May Get Its Name?

    May may seem like a little simple name, but its origin is actually fairly complex and interesting. Sit back and read up on this little word’s … big history. What does May mean? The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, May, is defined as “the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days.” Got it. But where did this name come from? The name for …

  10. How Do You Add Emphasis With Italics?

    If you’re thinking of using italics to emphasize words, keep in mind that the type of writing you do—and what style guide you follow—will determine how you use italics. Italics are typically used to show emphasis (For example: “I don’t care what he thinks. I do what I want!”) or to indicate titles of stand-alone works (Black Panther, Lost in Translation). Different style guides have …