Doublethink, doublespeak or double-talk

Doublethink is the ability to accept two conflicting beliefs, opinions, or facts as valid and correct, simultaneously. This acceptance might be deliberate or unconscious, and is often a result of political indoctrination. Doublethink may happen because of someone being willfully perverse or as a result of faulty logic. Doublethink is a word coined by George Orwell for the novel 1984. Doublespeak is the use of euphemistic or ambiguous language in order to disguise what one is actually saying. … [Read more...]

Didactic vs pedantic

Didactic refers to something that is intended to teach something or demonstrate something, especially something to do with morality. Didactic instruction is characterized as ponderous, boring, or pushing a moral agenda in an underhanded fashion. Didactic comes from the Greek word didaktikosm, which means apt at teaching. Didactic is an adjective, related words are didactically, didacticism. Pedantic means focusing too much on trivial details when discussing or teaching material. A pedantic … [Read more...]

Deduct vs deduce

Deduct means to take away a portion of something, to subtract something. Deduct is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are deducts, deducted, deducting and the noun form, deduction, which causes the confusion between deduct and deduce. Deduct comes from the Latin word deducere, which means lead down, bring away. Deduce means to draw a conclusion through the use of logic and reason. Deduce is a transitive verb, related words are deduces, deduced, deducing, … [Read more...]

Dominant vs predominant

Dominant means most influential, having the greatest importance. Dominant also means exerting the greatest influence over others. In genetics, dominant describes characteristics which are heritable even if only one parent carries the genes for those characteristics. Dominant may be used as either an adjective or a noun. The word dominant comes from the Latin word dominant, meaning ruling, governing. Predominant means most influential, having the greatest importance. Predominant also means … [Read more...]

Disparity vs disparateness

Disparity means a great dissimilarity, a wide difference between two or more items, people or circumstances. Disparity is related to disparate and comes from the Middle French word disparit√©, which in turn comes from the Latin word disparitas meaning inequality. The plural form of disparity is disparities. Disparateness also means a great dissimilarity, a wide difference between two or more items, people or circumstances. Disparateness is also related to disparate, derived from the Latin word … [Read more...]


A diaspora is a body of people that have been dispersed outside their homeland. Diaspora may also refer to the action of dispersing a body of people outside their homeland. When capitalized as in Diaspora, the word refers to the dispersion of Jews from their homeland after the Babylonian and Roman conquests or the Jewish people and Jewish communities existing outside of Palestine after the Babylonian and Roman conquests. The word diaspora comes from the Greek word diaspeirein, meaning to … [Read more...]

Double down vs buckle down

Double down means to increase one's commitment in a risky situation, to increase one's investment in a precarious endeavor in the hopes of a big payoff. The term double down was first used in the gambling game, blackjack, to describe the process of doubling one's bet before drawing the last card. Buckle down means to work hard at a task or project, to tackle a job with resoluteness. Buckle down appears in America in the middle of the nineteenth century, possibly derived from the British term … [Read more...]

Dibs and calling dibs

Dibs is a word used when laying claim to something. Calling dibs on something is an assertion of one's rights. The idea of dibs, calling dibs or calling first dibs goes back to an eighteenth century children's game called dibstones. Dibstones was a game akin to jacks, played with sheep knuckles. Children would announce "Dibs!" as they picked up each sheep knuckle, or called dibs. Eventually the term grew to include any instance when someone laid claim to something or asserted his right to … [Read more...]

Draw a line in the sand

To draw a line in the sand means to establish limits, going beyond these limits will bring consequences. Drawing a line in the sand is a device which stretches back to Ancient Rome, though the most well-known incidents of drawing a line in the sand are in Peru during the time of Pizarro's exploration and at the Battle of the Alamo in Texas. Related terms are draws a line in the sand, drew a line in the sand, drawing a line in the sand. Today, draw a line in the sand is used figuratively, though … [Read more...]

Dieresis and diaeresis

A dieresis is a punctuation mark that is placed over the second vowel of two adjacent vowels to indicate that they are not a sounded together, as in a dipthong. The two vowels are divided into two separate syllables. A dieresis consists of two dots. The word dieresis comes into the English language in the 1610s from the Greek word diairesis, which means division. Dieresis is the American spelling. Diaeresis is the British spelling. A diaeresis looks similar to an umlaut and is often … [Read more...]

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