Tag Archives: category-wordfacts

  1. “Sir” And “Madam” Are Shorter Versions Of What Words?

    Let’s say you want to get the attention of a male clerk in the produce section of the grocery store. Would you say, “Excuse me, sire, but could you please explain the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?” (For the answer to that question, read this.) Addressing a stranger as “sire” might raise an eyebrow. But if you said it, you wouldn’t necessarily be …

  2. How Many Words Are There In The English Language?

    How many words are in the English language? It would seem like a simple question, but the answer is anything but. New words are entering the language all the time. In 2019, no one could have predicted what has become a defining word of 2020: COVID-19. At the same time, existing words evolve. What’s the first thing that comes to mind with tweet? A bird or social …

  3. 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?
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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 …

  7. What Are Examples Of Hyperbole?

    Hyperbole is a super-exaggerated way of describing something for the sake of emphasis that often borders on the fantastical or ridiculous. But what are some examples of hyperbole?
  8. “Libel” vs. “Slander”: How To Tell The Difference

    If you spread a nasty rumor about your boss, are you engaging in slander? Can a politician sue a newspaper for libel if an article calls her a liar? What do these two words mean, and are they interchangeable? Since both are types of defamation or “the act of making negative statements that hurt another person’s reputation,” and also illegal, you’ll want to make sure …

  9. These Uncommon Singular Words Sound So Wrong

    Sometimes we can’t remember the plural form of a word—is it hippopotamuses or hippopotami? (Hint: it can be either). But there are also those times when we’re so used to hearing the plural form of a word that we just can’t think of the singular.  Even if we can remember the correct word, it tends to sound so odd and unfamiliar that we second guess …

  10. What’s The Difference Between Acronyms vs. Abbreviations?

    Is there a difference between acronyms and abbreviations? Most people think they’re pretty similar … and they’re definitely used in similar ways. But, there are slight differences What is an abbreviation? An abbreviation is any shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase. Did you catch the word any in there? That means abbreviation is the blanket term for all these shortened words we’ve all been using …