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A picture is worth a thousand words

The proverb a picture is worth a thousand words is probably not as old as you think. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. It particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. We will examine the definition of the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words, where the expression came from as well as some examples of its use in sentences. The phrase a picture is worth a thousand words means a picture may convey an idea more quickly and effectively than the written word. Writers of … [Read more...]

Tide vs tied

Tide and tied are two words that are pronounced in the same manner, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Tide and tide are homophones. We will examine the difference between the definitions of tide and tied, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A tide is the phenomenon of the rise and fall of the sea, the fluctuation of water levels over the lunar day. A tide is a a large swell or wave. Sea level rises and falls with the … [Read more...]

Gavel-to-gavel

The term gavel-to-gavel is a relatively new one that some find confusing. We will examine the meaning of the expression gavel-to-gavel, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Gavel-to-gavel means the time between the opening of a meeting to the end of the meeting. The idea is to indicate the time between the first strike of the gavel, which opens a session or meeting, and the last strike of the gavel, which closes the session. A gavel may also be struck during a session … [Read more...]

Repair vs reparation

Repair and reparation are two words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation, but have different meanings. They are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of repair and reparation, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. To repair something means to fix it, to restore something to a working condition or to restore something that is damaged to a state in which it appears to be new. Repair may also mean to mend a broken situation, such as … [Read more...]

Auspicious vs suspicious

The words auspicious and suspicious are similar in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of the words auspicious and suspicious, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Auspicious is an adjective that describes something that is favorable, something that is a good omen of success or good fortune in the future. A sign that is auspicious signifies good luck, indicating a promise of prosperity. The word auspicious … [Read more...]

Simile

A simile is a figure of speech that is not meant to be understood by its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of simile, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A simile is a phrase used in a sentence that is a comparison of one thing with something else using the word like or the word as. A simile may compare two things with qualities that do not seem related, though there must be some similarity that is either literal or figurative. Writers use similes … [Read more...]

Like a bump on a log

The phrase like a bump on a log is an idiom that may not be as old as you think. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. The phrase like a bump on a log is also a simile. A simile is a comparison of two different things using the word like or the word as. We … [Read more...]

Salvage vs selvage or selvedge

Salvage and selvage or selvedge are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, and are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of salvage and selvage or selvedge, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Salvage means to save something that is damaged. The damage may come from fire, flood, hail damage, theft or collision. When damages are sustained that make restoration of the property impossible, owners salvage pieces that have not been … [Read more...]

Spartan

The word spartan as it is used today first appeared in the 1600s, though the term reaches back to the time of ancient Greece. We will examine the meaning of the word spartan, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The word spartan describes something that lacks creature comforts, something that is austere and without ornament or luxury. Something that is spartan is very basic, without frills, simple. Spartan is an adjective. The word Spartan may also be used to signify … [Read more...]

Yiddish

Yiddish is a word that has been in use since the latter nineteenth century. We will examine the definition of the word Yiddish, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. Yiddish is a language developed and used by Jews. Yiddish is a combination of Hebrew, Aramaic, High German and Middle German as well as other modern Romance languages. The Yiddish language began in the ninth century, primarily in eastern Europe and central Europe as a language used for commerce and … [Read more...]

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