Await vs wait

To wait means to not do an action until a future event or condition is met. It can also mean to be in a state of expecting something to happen in the future, but not taking action to make the event come sooner. Await is a verb that means to wait for something or to be waiting. Also, it can mean to have something in the future be waiting for you, or in other words, something is in store. Await has several obsolete and archaic definitions. It carries with it a general formal feeling or one of … [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...]

Super vs supra

The prefix super- means larger, bigger, better, higher, or greater. Almost always this prefix is used without hyphens, unlike the prefix self-. Supra-, unlike hypo- and hyper-, is not an exact opposite of super-. In some cases, it has the same meaning and acts as a synonym, usually for words where the supra- formation exceeds the super- in popularity. Another definition of supra- is that the modified object rises above those around it or those before it. It should be noted that there are … [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...]

Kleenex vs tissue

A tissue can be a piece of a living plant or animal, thin paper which provides filler to gift bags, and thin, absorbent paper one can use to blow one's nose. The adjective form is tissuey and it comes from the Latin word for weaving. Kleenex is the name of a brand of tissues that one can use to blow one's nose. It should always be capitalized since it is a proper noun as the name of a company. The plural is formed by adding an es at the end. While usage would suggest that this term be … [Read more...]

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