Car park vs parking lot

A car park is an area where a car or truck or motorcycle may be left, for a time, off-street. A car park is usually a paved area, the spaces are clearly marked with white or sometimes yellow paint. A driver is expected to occupy only one space.  Car park is the British English term, the North American English term is parking lot. A muliple-storied building where cars may be parked is referred to as a multi-storey car park in British English, and a parking garage in American English. A … [Read more...]

Disabuse, misuse and abuse

Disabuse means to convince someone of the inaccuracy of a belief or notion. Disabuse is a transitive verb, it is used with an object. The first known use of disabuse was 1611. Misuse means to use something in an incorrect fashion or for the wrong purpose. Misuse also means to treat someone poorly or unfairly. Misuse is also a transitive verb, it is used with an object. The first known use of the word misuse was in the fourteenth century. Abuse means to use incorrectly or wrongly, to … [Read more...]

Can vs may

Strictly speaking, can is an auxiliary verb that is used to express mental and physical capability. May is an auxiliary verb that is used to express permission. However, the sharp dividing line between the use of can and may has eroded, due to the English language's seeming evolution toward informality. Today, can is used to express mental and physical capability and in informal circumstances, it expresses permission. A child might ask a teacher, "May I have an apple?" as the child is asking … [Read more...]

Mean vs mien

Mean may be used as a verb to (1) indicate, signify or refer to a certain thing (2) indicate genuine intention (3) refer to the consequence of a certain thing or action (4) show the importance or value of a certain item or happening. Mean may be used as an adjective to indicate (1) unkindness or cruelty (2) malice (3) low social status (4) poor or shabby (5) miserly, stingy (6) skillful (slang) Mean may be used as a noun to indicate (1) the midway point (2) in mathematics, the number that … [Read more...]

Moral vs morale

Moral can be used as either an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, moral describes something or someone who conforms to the rules of ethical behavior. When moral is used as a noun, it can mean (1) the lesson imparted by a story or fable or (2) a principle to follow for right conduct. The verb form is moralize, which carries a negative connotation. Moralize means to express an opinion about morals, usually in a self-righteous or annoying way. Morale is the enthusiasm and devotion a person or … [Read more...]

Mob or demob

A mob is a big gathering of people, this group may or may not be violent or angry. The mob is an illegal organization of people that commit crimes. To mob is to have a gathering of people push toward something, surrounding it. This group may just be excited but also may have the intent to attack something. Demob is a verb, mainly used in British English as an abbreviation for demobilize. Demobilize is a verb that means to discharge or release from service in the military, or to stop a … [Read more...]

Matter of fact or matter-of-fact

The adjective matter-of-fact is hyphenated and describes something or someone as having little to no dramatic emotion when speaking about potentially upsetting things. Note that this does not mean a lack of all emotion, but it means that the individual is not letting his or her emotions get the better of him or her. The adverb form is matter-of-factly and the noun form is matter-of-factness. An alternate noun form is matter of fact. This is used for things that are not opinion or up for … [Read more...]

Matter of fact vs fact of the matter

The phrase as a matter of fact is similar to in fact and is used to emphasis a piece of information, usually in order to clarify a point that was just made, either to confirm it or negate it. The point can be made in a conversation or just expanding on something the speaker said. To be matter-of-fact about something is to be without emotion and clear. Something can be a matter-of-fact if it's true and not up for a debate. The idiom the fact of the matter is almost always used as an … [Read more...]

In point of fact or in fact or as a matter of fact

In fact is by far the more common idiom. It is phrase that is used to emphasize a particular truth, especially if it is contrary to what would commonly be understood. A good synonym is actually. In point of fact means exactly the same thing, only takes more words to do it. Most of the time it is listed in dictionaries, if it is listed at all, as in (point of) fact. One benefit to the longer phrase is that it calls even more attention to the shared truth. However, most of the time it is … [Read more...]

In a manner of speaking

In a manner of speaking is an idiom that means the same as 'in other words' or 'so to speak'. It is used usually after a statement to clarify a subtext or alternative meaning to the previous statement. Many people confuse this phrase by saying in a matter of speaking. This phrase builds off of one of manner's definitions as a type or kind of something (e.g., manner of men, manner of style). So one can think of manner of speaking as a way of saying something. The related idiom is as a matter … [Read more...]

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