Crisis of conscience vs crisis of confidence

A crisis is something that is extremely tense with high stakes. A crisis demands immediate decisions and has serious consequences for the wrong decisions. The plural is crises, pronounced as /cry sees/.   In medical terminology crisis has several definitions. It can be a turning point, either for better or for worse, or a severe physical or emotional change. Someone can have a crisis of conscience if he or she has made a decision and now regrets it as immoral or against his or … [Read more...]

Copacetic or copasetic

Copacetic is an adjective used to describe something or someone as pleasing or meeting one's expectations. It is generally a North American term. If it is used in other countries an explanation is usually given in the text. The term is generally seen as informal. It is not listed in the dictionary, as therefore should be termed slang, but the adverbial form is sometimes used as copacetically. Both copasetic and copesetic are accepted alternate spellings. Copesetic is hardly ever seen, … [Read more...]

Anyone or any one

Anyone is a pronoun that indicates any person. It is used when there are no qualifications to the grouping. Something could belong to anyone if there are no distinguishing marks or unique factors. Unlike anytime and anymore, anyone is not simply an adverb form of any one and they are not interchangeable outside of the United States. Any one is a term that means any single object or person. It is generally not listed in dictionaries except perhaps to distinguish the differences … [Read more...]

Anymore or any more

Anymore is an adverb that means a general amount of time, usually the present or near past. Usually it is used to say if an action or event still happens or exists. This construction is the preferred in the US, while outside the country the standard is to keep the two words separate, any more. It is interesting to note that when we did find instances of the one word form outside the US, it was almost always in the form of a quote, but it was not always an American quoted. One possibility … [Read more...]

Anyday vs any day

Any day is the more preferred when talking about a general time frame. Usually the term is used to describe something that is happening soon, as in the next couple of days, or any day. This is such an informal term that most dictionaries don't list it as an actual term on its own. This term is also used commonly in the phrase any day now, where something is expected to happen very soon but the actual time is unknown. A common example is the time when a woman may go into labor to deliver a … [Read more...]

Disdain or distain

Disdain can be either a noun or a verb. As a noun disdain means the general attitude of something or someone being beneath consideration or not valuable enough for respect. The verb form is transitive, or used with an object. To disdain something is to mock it or judge it poorly. One can also disdain an action, in other words, refuse to complete the action because one has deemed it beneath consideration or unworthy. The adjective form is disdainful, which describes something or someone has … [Read more...]

Self vs self-

Self is a pronoun used to refer to a person in a general sense. It is most commonly heard in myself, herself, or himself. As a prefix, it means the action or quality or object is given to one's self or done toward one's self. The vast majority of the time, self- words use a hyphen (e.g., self-love, self-actualization, or self-absorbed). In fact, with the exception of selfish, selfsame, selfness, selfless, and selfhood, all self- words hyphenated. Notice in the list of exceptions that all … [Read more...]

Dumpster vs dumpster

Dumpster is the name, for North America (including both United States and Canada), for a large metal container for trash. Outside the United States the receptacle is called either a skip or a front load container. This term was created by a business for their specialized containers that let a truck empty them without any manual labor required. The name was formed from the word dump, the place were all trash is taken. For years the word was so popular that all containers were … [Read more...]

Google vs google

Google, with a capital G, is the name of the company behind It is a search engine that allows one to find things on the internet. As a verb, google, notice the lowercase g, means to use a search engine to find something, usually the answer to a question. Originally this meant to use Google specifically to search, but now the term is so widespread that the definition has shifted to mean using any method to find the answer on the internet. If someone else tells you to 'go google … [Read more...]

Sensational vs sensationalistic

Sensational is an adjective that describes something or someone as inciting interest and excitement. It can be used when details about a topic are presented in a particular way so as to incite the most interest or excitement. Also, it can simply be a way to say something is great or awe-inspiring. The adverb form is sensationally. Sensationalistic is the adjective form of the word sensationalism. Sensationalism is a noun for the act of using details and information in a way to incite … [Read more...]

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