Advertisement

Tontine

A tontine is a financial instrument with an interesting history. We will examine the meaning of the word tontine, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. A tontine is a financial instrument in which investors deposit money and are paid annuities. When an investor dies, his portion of the annuity is divided among the surviving investors instead of passing to his heirs. When the last investor dies, the principal most often passes to the state. The first tontine was … [Read more...]

Pink slip

Pink slip is an American term that dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of pink slip, some possible sources of the origin of the term and some examples of its use in sentences. A pink slip is a written notice that one's employment is terminated. Supposedly, the term comes from the practice of putting a slip of pink paper in a terminated employee's envelope as notice. Interestingly, many people have attempted to find the origin of this belief, with … [Read more...]

Depravation vs deprivation

Depravation and deprivation are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation which are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of depravation and deprivation, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Depravation means the act of corrupting someone, of causing them to become bad or depraved, the act of making someone wicked or perverted. The word depravation is related to the word deprave, a fact which makes remembering the correct … [Read more...]

Track vs tract

Track and tract are two words that are often confused due to their close resemblance in pronunciation and spelling. We will examine the different definitions of track and tract, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Track may refer to a course used to race people, animals or mechanical devices against each other. Track may also mean a lane or path constructed by repeated use rather than by roadwork. Track may also mean a footprint or mark left by passing … [Read more...]

Imitate vs intimate

Imitate and intimate are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of imitate and intimate, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Imitate means to copy someone or something, to ape someone or something, to use someone or something as a model for behavior. Imitate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are imitates, imitated, imitating, imitator, imitation, imitative. The word imitate is a … [Read more...]

Instigate vs investigate

Instigate and investigate are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of instigate and investigate, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Instigate means to cause an event, action or situation to happen, to initiate an event, action or situation. Instigate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are instigates, instigated, instigating, instigative, instigation, instigator. The word instigate is … [Read more...]

Dystopia or utopia

Dystopia and utopia are two words that mean the opposite of each other, which makes them antonyms. We will examine the definitions of dystopia and utopia, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A dystopia is an imagined or fictional place in which things have gone wrong. Dystopias are frequently written about in literary works to illustrate current issues in a more extreme context. Some examples of dystopian tales are Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell and … [Read more...]

Stir-crazy

Stir-crazy is a twentieth century term that originated in the United States. We will examine the meaning of the term stir-crazy, its origin and some examples of its use in sentences. Stir-crazy describes being mentally disturbed due to a long confinement, whether alone or with others. Stir-crazy was originally a prison term, coined around the turn of the twentieth century. In this case, stir was and still is a slang term for prison, in use since the 1850s. The origin of the term stir for … [Read more...]

Sabbatical vs sabbath

Sabbatical and sabbath are two words that have similar roots but very different meanings. We will examine the definitions of sabbatical and sabbath, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. A sabbatical is a stretch of time granted to a professor or other worker in order to study or travel. A sabbatical is paid leave from everyday tasks designed to expand an employee's horizons. The term was first used in the 1880s, sabbatical may be used as a noun or an … [Read more...]

Valedictorian and salutatorian

Valedictorian and salutatorian are two honors recognized in graduating classes in North America. We will examine the meanings of the terms valedictorian¬†and salutatorian, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences. The valedictorian of a graduating class is the student who has the highest grade point average, and is often lauded for his extracurricular activities and service hours, as well. The valedictorian is called that because he gives the valedictory speech … [Read more...]

advertisement
About Grammarist
Contact | Privacy policy | Home
© Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist