Quick entries: W, X, Y, Z

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Wait for the other shoe to drop: to wait for something to happen, especially an event precipitated by someone one has done earlier. Water under the bridge: something that is unimportant and worth forgetting or forgiving. Ways: informally, sometimes a singular noun meaning way or a long … [Read more...]

Quick entries: U-V

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Udder vs. utter: Udder: a baglike mammary organ that secretes milk, characteristic of cows and other mammals. Utter: to say. (Take) umbrage: take offense. Underlie vs. underline (metaphorical senses): To underlie is to serve as the basis of something. To underline is to emphasize or … [Read more...]

Quick entries: T

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Tabula rasa: Latin for blank slate. In English, it refers to (1) a mind without preconceived notions, or (2) a fresh start at something. Take a shine to: to begin to like. Take aback: to surprise or disconcert. Take down vs. takedown: Take down is a verb phrase (e.g., Please take down … [Read more...]

Quick entries: S

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Salience: Saliency is far less common and has no meanings of its own. Sanction: an antagonym, meaning it has contradictory definitions---(1) to encourage or tolerate, and (2) to penalize. Of course, the word has several other definitions. Sang vs. sung: Sang has not gained ground as the … [Read more...]

Quick entries: R

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Radios: not radioes. Rainwater: The one-word spelling is accepted, but it is commonly spelled rain water. Rancor vs. rancour: rancor in American English; rancour everywhere else. Randomise vs. randomize: In the U.S. and Canada, it's randomize, randomized, randomizing, randomization, etc. … [Read more...]

Quick entries: P-Q

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Paediatrics vs. pediatrics: pediatrics in North America; paediatrics outside North America. The spelling distinction extends to all derivative words. Paid vs. paying: A paying customer is a customer who has paid. A paid customer is bad for business. Paraphernalia: personal belongings or … [Read more...]

Quick entries: O

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Oasis: plural oases. Off (first off, second off, etc.): First off, second off, etc. mean the same as first of all, second of all, etc., but they are more colloquial. Once and a while: mondegreen for once in a while. Once in a lifetime vs. once-in-a-lifetime: Hyphenate it if it comes … [Read more...]

Quick entries: N

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Nascent: just coming into existence, emerging, or being born. Nemesis: (1) an agent of retribution or vengeance, (2) a source of harm or setbacks. The plural is nemeses (a very welcome irregular plural, as nemesises doesn't exactly roll off the tongue). Neutralise vs. neutralize: In the U.S. … [Read more...]

Quick entries: M

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Machiavellian: marked by cunning trickery, especially in politics or government. Machine gun vs. machinegun: machine gun is two words as a noun phrase; machinegun is the verb for to shoot with a machine gun. Make pretend: make it pretend or make believe. Make up vs. makeup: make up is the … [Read more...]

Quick entries: J, K, L

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been well researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment. Jam: One's jam is a song, especially one that is soulful or has a beat, that has special meaning, inspires deep feelings, or inspires dancing. Jinx: to give bad luck. Jones: to have a strong desire for something. One who is jonesing for something is filled with obsessive want. The word is … [Read more...]

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