Drink drank drunk

To drink something is to swallow a liquid. The past tense of drink is drank. The past participle of drink is either drank or drunk, though the latter is used twice as often as the former. A past participle is the adjective or adverb form of a verb. In this case, drunk is used exclusively with the verb have. Some will say that drank is not the past participle. However, it is listed in some dictionaries and used widely as such. If you are concerned about your audience, stick with have … [Read more...]


Druthers means the ability to make a choice or preference. Usually it is used in the construction if I had my druthers, or some variation of that. It is mainly used in the United States and Canada and is informal. This word comes from a contraction of the words I would rather or I'd rather. Now and then one will see the term used in this way, I'd druther, but since druther includes the 'd part of the contraction it should be I druther, which looks odd and most would consider it a … [Read more...]


A pox can be an illness that creates pus-filled pimples or a rash on the skin. Many of the diseases have a modifier before pox, such as chicken pox, smallpox, or monkeypox. Whether the malady name is one word or two varies and one should double-check names that are uncommon. It should be noted that pox is sometimes used to mean the specific disease of syphilis. Pox may also be used to mean a curse or hex you wish placed upon someone or something. Pox is not the name of the sores or … [Read more...]



Macabre is an adjective describing something or someone as having to do with or representing death in a dark or twisted way. Things that are macabre elicit fear or shock from those who view them. It can also be used to talk about things that have to do with violence or harm to others, even if it does not result in actual death. The word comes from the phrase danse macabre, or dance of death, a form of art in the fifteenth century to remind people that everyone dies and they must be more … [Read more...]

Prank call or crank call

A prank call is when someone calls a telephone line for the sole purpose of playing a prank or joke on the receiving end. The call is supposed to be anonymous and seen as funny for the prankster and slightly annoying for the user. Oftentimes it is associated with children or immature behavior. The person making the telephone call is a prank caller. A crank call is another name for prank call, though some make a differentiation between the two by saying a crank call  is the name for a prank … [Read more...]

April Fool’s or April Fools’

The occasion celebrated on the first day of April is officially called April Fools' Day in the United States. Each word of the title is capitalized and the fool is plural possessive. The singular fool's is listed as a variant spelling. However, this is not standardized and the main listing seems to vary from dictionary to dictionary (i.e., whether the plural or the singular is listed as the main spelling). Actual usage seems to support this non-preference, with both spellings being used about … [Read more...]


A chinwag is a conversation, usually small-talk or gossip. It is mainly used outside the United States. It may sometimes be seen as two words and this is an official variant spelling. It can also be a verb. To chinwag is to chat or gossip. The past tense is chinwagged, the present tense is chinwags, and the progressive tense is chinwagging. The two word spelling variation does carry over to the verb form, as in chin wagging and chin wagged. It should be noted that this word is informal and … [Read more...]

Fatuous vs facetious

Fatuous is an adjective that describes something or someone as absurd or brainless. It comes from the Latin word for foolish. The adverb form is fatuously and the noun form is fatuousness. Facetious is also an adjective. It describes something or someone as being deliberately casual or silly in serious matters and with inappropriate humor. Good synonyms are flippant, glib, and tongue-in-cheek.  The adverb form is facetiously and the noun form is facetiousness. It should be noted that most … [Read more...]

Be patient or have patience

Patient is an adjective that means to be amenable to waiting or accepting of delays. It is accompanied with peacefulness and a calm nature. Patience is the noun form of the adjective patient. One can be an adjective and have a noun. In all uses, either form is correct as long as the corresponding verb agrees. The verbs be and have can be conjugated through all tenses. However, it should be noted that be patient is used ten times more often than have patience. This was not always the … [Read more...]

-emia or -aemia

Both -emia and -aemia mean that there is a certain substance in one's blood. For example, hypoglycemia (or hypoglycaemia) is the condition of having too little sugar or glucose in one's blood. This suffix is mainly used in medical terminology. It also has variants of -hemia and -haemia. All these variants come from the Greek word for blood haima. The United States and Canada prefer -emia while other English-speaking countries around the world prefer -aemia. Though there is some crossover … [Read more...]

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