Might as well

Might as well is a phrase used when one makes a suggestion that one is not entirely enthusiastic about. Might as well is also used to compare the equality of a given situation to a hypothetical situation. The origin of the phrase might as well is murky. It may stem from idioms such as you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb and you might as well be hung for a goat as a lamb, eventually dropping the last half of the idiom. Examples The cellphone lot for O'Hare International Airport … [Read more...]

Makeup, make-up or make up

Makeup is 1.) cosmetics 2.) the composition of something 3.) in American English, a special test or assignment given to a student who has missed a test or assignment. Make up is used as a noun or an adjective. Makeup may also be rendered as the hyphenated make-up, though since the 1980s the hyphen has been dropped for the most part. The word makeup was coined in 1821 to mean manner in which something is put together, it was first used to mean cosmetics in 1886. Make up is a verb phrase which … [Read more...]

Motive vs motif

A motive is the reason for an action, the psychological force that propels someone to behave in a certain manner or to pursue a certain goal. Related words are motiveless, motivelessly, motivelessness, motivate, motivates, motivated, motivation. Motive comes from the Latin word motus meaning a moving motion. From the early 1400s, motive comes to signify that which moves a person to behave in a certain fashion. A motif is a theme or idea that recurs as a pattern in an artistic work. Motifs … [Read more...]

In the midst vs in the mist

In the midst means in the middle of, surrounded by, among. Midst means the middle, it is a literary or archaic word which is not often seen unless used in the phrase in the midst. Midst comes into the English language in the mid-fifteenth century, from the Middle English word middes. In the mist is an eggcorn. An eggcorn is a phrase that is misheard and misinterpreted from an existing phrase. In the mist, used correctly, means existing in a fog. Unless used to express this sentiment, in the … [Read more...]

Micro- vs macro-

Micro- is a prefix which means small, reduced, magnifying. As a unit of measure, micro- means one millionth part of. Micro- is derived from the Greek mikros, meaning small, trivial, slight, petty, trivial. Micro- is a prefix which may be applied to word when describing something that is small scale. Macro- is a prefix which means large, over a long period, the big picture. Macro- comes from the Greek makros, meaning long, abnormally long. Macro- is a prefix which may be applied to word when … [Read more...]

Manga vs anime

Manga is a Japanese style of graphic novels and comic books that is aimed at adults as well as children. In manga, the characters have oversized eyes, the drawings are often in black and white. Manga stories are told in serial form. Manga style descends from Japanese aesthetics, though many see the influence of American comic books brought into Japan during the post-World War II, Occupation years. Katsushika Hokusai coined the term manga in 1814 to describe a free-flowing, quirky style. Manga … [Read more...]

Mouse and CAT

In computer parlance, a mouse is a pointing device that converts two-dimensional motion relative to a surface into the movement of a cursor on a computer screen. A mouse consists of one or more buttons and often, a wheel or touch surface. The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute in the 1960s and presented to the world in what has been dubbed the Mother of All Demos. At that time, only a few people understood computers and their uses, today anyone can visit a … [Read more...]

The real McCoy

The real McCoy is a phrase which means the genuine article, the real thing. Though the origin of the phrase the real McCoy has been attributed to the famous Hatfield and McCoy feud which raged in the West Virginia and Kentucky areas of the United States in the late nineteenth century, it most certainly has its beginnings in a Scottish phrase. McKay was a popular brand of whiskey in Scotland in the 1850s, and references to "the real McKay" are found in newspapers throughout¬†the country in the … [Read more...]

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo

Eeny, meeny, miny, mo is the first line of a counting rhyme, used by children to decide who goes first in a game or who is the team captain or who is "it" in a game of tag. Eeny, meeny, miny, mo and other counting rhymes were passed from child to child in oral tradition, the rhymes were not written down until the mid-1800s. As may be expected from oral traditions perpetuated through children, there are large variances in these counting rhymes. The most well-known is now: Eeny, meeny, miny, … [Read more...]

Miner vs minor

A miner is 1.) a person who digs for coal, lead, gold, or other natural resources. 2.) a soldier who plants explosives in order to blow up enemies and enemy positions. 3.) an Australian bird 4.) a South American bird. The most common use of miner is one who mines, often modified with the item that is being mined such as a gold miner or lead miner. The word miner appears in the late thirteenth century, coming from the Old French minour. A minor is 1.) a person who is underaged, not capable of … [Read more...]

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