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Quick entries: N

Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment.

Nascent: just coming into existence, emerging, or being born.

Nemesis: (1) an agent of retribution or vengeance, (2) a source of harm or setbacks. The plural is nemeses (a very welcome irregular plural, as nemesises doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue).

Neutralise vs. neutralize: In the U.S. and Canada, it’s neutralizeneutralized, neutralizing, neutralization, etc. Outside North America, it’s neutralise, neutralised, neutralising, neutralisation, etc.

Never mind vs. nevermind: The one-word form is creeping into the language, but never mind is still the dictionary-approved form, and it appears far more often in edited publications.

Nib vs. nub: A nib is a sharp point or projecting part. A nub is a protuberance or a lump.

Niggardly: stingy. The word is not inherently offensive, but its similarity in sound to a racist slur makes it best avoided in most contexts.

Nite: informal variant of night used in product labels, marketing, and signage. Night is preferred everywhere else.

Nitpick: to focus on inconsequential details. It is one word. Knitpick is a misspelling.

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No love lost: This idiom means the same as no love.

None are vs. none is: None can be both singular and plural. Choose based on context.

Nonstarter: Something that (1) fails to start, or (2) has no chance of being successful. No hyphen.

Not for nothing: American colloquialism similar in meaning to for what it’s worth or by the way. It’s also used in constructions such as Not for nothing am I called “The Snake.” 

Notable vs. noteworthy: no substantive difference in the sense of note.

Nowadays: one word.

Numeric vs. numerical: There is no difference between them. Numerical is more common.

Nutriment: something that provides nourishment. Not synonymous with nutrition.

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