Chateaus vs chateaux

A chateau is 1.) a French manor house with a corresponding lord of the manor 2.) an estate where wine is produced 3.) a large country house for nobility or gentry, lacking fortification. Chateau comes from the French word, château, which derives from the twelth century Old French word, chastel, meaning castle. Usually, chateau is pluralized in the French manner, chateaux. However, it is also acceptable to pluralize chateau in the English manner, chateaus, as it is now a word that has been … [Read more...]

Cotton candy or cotton floss or fairy floss

Cotton candy is spun sugar that consists of very fluffy, threadlike fibers of melted sugar, usually pink, and almost always wrapped around a paper cone. Cotton candy melts in your mouth, it is sold at circuses, fairs, carnivals, festivals and some sporting events. Cotton candy is made in a machine which melts the sugar into a liquified state and then blows it through tiny holes where it cools and solidifies quickly. The cotton candy machine operator then runs a paper cone around the bin to … [Read more...]

Deer vs deers

Deer is the preferred plural form of deer, a hoofed mammal. Deer are ruminants. In most types of deer, only the males produce antlers. Deer antlers are shed annually. Some species of deer are white-tailed deer, red deer, caribou, moose, fallow deer, mule deer, roe deer and elk. Deers is an accepted plural, but it is rarely used. The word deer comes from the Old English word, deor, which means four-legged animal, beast. Also the Dutch word, dier and the German word, tier. Deer is one of … [Read more...]

White elephant

A white elephant is an item that is useless or burdensome, a possession that is more trouble than it's worth. According to tradition, an albino white elephant was considered holy in Asian countries. To maintain a holy white elephant would cause the owner to incur great expense, as the albino white elephant needed special care. The story goes that Thai kings would gift white elephants to courtiers they didn't like, in order to force the recipients to spend great amounts on the maintenance of … [Read more...]

Faeces vs feces

Faeces is bodily waste excreted from the bowels, through the anus. The adjective is faecal. Faeces comes from the Latin word, faceces, which means sediment, dregs. Faeces began to directly refer to human excrement in the seventeenth century. Faeces refers to any animal's solid waste, excreted from the bowels, through the anus. In North America, the spelling is feces and the adjective is spelled fecal. Examples Known as faecal microbiota transplantation, the method has been criticised by … [Read more...]

Eschew

Eschew means to avoid, to shun, to abstain from voluntarily and deliberately, especially because you believe it is the proper thing to do. Eschew is a transitive verb, one that takes an object. Related words are eschewed, eschews, eschewing and the nouns eschewal and eschewance. Eschew came into use in the mid-fourteenth century from the Old French eschiver, meaning shun, dispense with, it is also related to the German words sciuhen meaning to avoid, escape and scheuen which means to fear, … [Read more...]

Platypi vs platypuses

Platypuses are small, egg-laying mammals with webbed feet, duck-like bills and tails like  beavers that live in Australia and Tasmania. The plural of platypus has been long-established in the English speaking world as platypuses. The plural form platypi is accepted by Latinists, scientists and fans of quirky words. The platypus was scientifically described for the first time in the late eighteenth century and named after the Greek word, platupous, meaning flatfooted. Traditional names for … [Read more...]

Sang vs sung

Sang is the simple past tense of sing, which means to make musical sounds with the voice. It is an intransitive verb, which means it is a verb which takes an object. Sung is the past participle of sing. It is a verb that may not stand on its own, it must take an auxilliary, "helping" verb such as variants of "to have" and "to be". Sung is used in the past tense as well as present pefect tense. If using the word sung, it must be accompanied by an auxilliary verb. Examples When Canadian … [Read more...]

Superstorm

Superstorm is an unusually large storm, often one resulting from multiple storms that have joined forces. A superstorm is severe and affects a large area. The term may be applied to a rain storm, wind storm, snow storm or sand storm. Superstorm is not a meteorological term. It is often used by journalists, but superstorm is not a term found in the Meteorological Society's Glossary of Meteorology. Meteorologists classify storms scientifically, with the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the … [Read more...]

Peer vs pier

Peer means 1.) to look searchingly or with difficulty, to attempt to obtain a clearer view of something 2.) a person or thing  that is equal with another specified person or thing in status, ability, rank or age. 3.) a member of British or Irish nobility, including the ranks of duke or duchess, marqus or marchioness, earl or countess, viscount or viscountess and baron or baroness. This system is referred to as peerage. The word peer comes the Anglo-French peir, meaning an equal in rank or … [Read more...]

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