Prebiotic vs probiotic

A prebiotic is a non-digestible chemical or ingredient which acts as food for good bacteria and flora in the intestinal tract. It is generally used in its plural prebiotics, since it is rare that only one is added to a food. They naturally occur in foods such as garlic, honey, onions, and bananas. A probiotic is the bacteria itself which lives in the intestinal tract. They naturally occur in foods such as yogurt. They are also normally discussed in the plural probiotics. Both words are not … [Read more...]

Privy

To be privy to something is to have knowledge of it. Usually it is used with the connotation that the information is secret or not widely known. One can be privy to something or be made privy. It has one derivative of privily. It is found more commonly outside of the United States. It is also the noun for an outdoor toilet. A privity has to do with legal interest or relationships between people who have a legal interest in something. Examples The NSEL Investors' Action Group has … [Read more...]

Heads up

Heads up is an interjection used when you need to warn someone to look out. A heads-up is the actual warning you gave the individual. This is commonly used in the phrase giving someone a heads-up. While the correct spelling includes the hyphen, actual usage suggests that it will become obsolete some day. Heads-up can also be used as an adjective to describe a person as being cautious or aware of surroundings. Keeping one's head up means to be watchful. Be aware that the verb head can also … [Read more...]

Screed

A screed is a long, often boring, and sometimes angry letter or discourse. It is also a device, usually a piece of wood, that is used to level wet concrete or the thickness of a plaster wall. It is not a verb, or the past tense of scree, which is in fact a group of rocks on a mountainside. It comes from the same root as shred, namely the Middle English word screde, which was a strip of something or a small part. Examples Reeling in the wake of James' decision, Grant took Riley's offer … [Read more...]

Learnings

Learning can be the progressive form of the verb learn, so that you are in the process of acquiring knowledge. Learning is also a synonym for knowledge, or information acquired and retained in someone's mind. It can be an adjective describing an object as something that will give the user more knowledge. Learnings is a pluralization of an erroneous form of learning as a singular noun. Said singular noun (e.g., a learning) does not exist, at least according to most dictionaries. Colloquially, … [Read more...]

Diktat

In the dictionary, a diktat is defined as an order that is harsh and unilaterally imposed on a people without their permission. It is usually used with the connotation of being issued to a defeated country or people. A dictate is simply a command or order, without the necessity of being harsh. The most common place to hear or read the word diktat is India, where it is used for orders which come from military or faith leaders. It still carries its pejorative … [Read more...]

Cleave

Cleave is a verb with two very distinct definitions. In one sense it can mean to break two things apart, split one item into two pieces, or push something apart with great force. On the other hand, to cleave is to stick with something very closely, like a belief or a person. These two opposing definitions also have differing verb forms. To adhere to something in the past tense is to cleaved, clove, and clave, though the latter two are rare and slightly archaic. To break something into two in … [Read more...]

Alight

As a verb alight means for a flying insect or animal to land or perch after flying. This definition can extend to anything descending upon or landing on something. It can also mean for a person to depart or exit a mode of transportation. Archaically alight meant to acquire or meet something or someone by chance, its noun form was alightment. As an adjective, alight means to be on fire or shining with lights.  The on fire definition is predominantly used in the United Kingdom, though it can be … [Read more...]

Site vs cite

A site is a location, either used for a specific activity, construction, or important event. It also has come to mean a website. Cite is a verb which means to reference another's work, either by quotation or general idea. To cite someone, or to issue a citation, is to require them to appear in a court of law.  The verb forms include citing, cited, and cites. Cite has the derivatives of citation and citable. Site's other homonym sight is discussed here. Examples Organisers of the town’s … [Read more...]

Redoubt

A redoubt is a small area that gives protection to soldiers while under attack. The word can also be used for a figuratively safe place for anyone under attack. It is not a verb. A related word is redan. Also a military defense location, it differs from a redoubt in that a redan has an opening for retreat, whereas the redoubt is completely enclosed. History The word redoubt has been in use since the 1600s. It comes from the French word redoute. As military techniques have advanced to … [Read more...]

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