Tag Archives: category-mixedupmeanings

  1. Nazi vs. Fascist: Is There Really A Difference?

    Fascist and Nazi: these two words loom large in the history books and in heated conversations about politics—conversations that have far outlasted the regimes that originally embraced them. For many of us, the words fascist and Nazi bring to mind the worst dictators and crimes against humanity. But as these ideologies make the news in 2020, used especially in the context of a growing concern about …

  2. What Is The Difference Between “Boarder” vs. “Border”?

    Boarder and border are homophones of each other. But how do you use each word correctly?
  3. 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 …

  4. “Then” vs. “Than”: See If You Know The Difference Between Them

    Then and than are among the 100 most frequently used words in the English language. The fact that they’re so common means that they’re also commonly misused! Do you say I will call you no later than 7 pm or then 7 pm? Would you say the company needs a good accountant more than (or then) ever? Some examples are trickier than others, but you can learn to distinguish …

  5. “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 …

  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. “Paradox” vs. “Oxymoron”: How To Tell The (Seemingly Similar) Difference

    When parents become empty nesters after their kids head off to college, they may be surprised by the deafening silence of their home. The emptiness can be bittersweet as mom and dad find themselves alone together. In the above sentences, these parents are dealing with quite a few contradictions. Are these examples of oxymorons or paradoxes? Or, is an oxymoron a synonym for a paradox? Let’s take …

  9. “Contagious” vs. “Infectious”: The Difference Can Be Important

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com Whether it’s flu season, chickenpox at your kid’s school, concerns about measles in your town, or the coronavirus pandemic, the words contagious and infectious often come around in news and social media, in casual conversations and government communications. While these two terms get used interchangeably, knowing the difference between them can, in some cases, be life-saving. To …

  10. “Gnarly,” “Nasty,” And “Sick”: Are These Synonyms?

    If you hang out around surfers long enough, chances are you’ll overhear them talking about a gnarly wave or a sick run. But what if they’re chatting about their housekeeping woes, and a gnarly living room or nasty kitchen? (Not cool, dude!) Does that make the words gnarly, sick, and nasty synonyms? This gets tricky because in addition to having various definitions, each word can be used …