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...]

Ditto and ditto mark

Ditto means the same as what has already been said, the same as what has been written above, the same as what has been written before. Ditto may be a noun, the plural is dittos. Ditto may also be an adverb. As a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, ditto means to make duplicates or to do again. Related words are dittos, dittoed, dittoing. Ditto comes from the Italian detto in the early 1600s, and was originally used to avoid repeating the month and year in writing a series of … [Read more...]

Minuet vs minute

A minuet is a ballroom dance with short, dainty steps. The minuet is a dignified dance for a group of couples, first popular in seventeenth century France. Music for this dance is also called a minuet, often part of a sonata, symphony or suite. The beat is in 3/4 time. Minuet comes from the French word menuet, meaning fine, delicate, small, narrow. Minute has two meanings. 1.) When the accent is on the second syllable, miNUTE, it functions as an adjective meaning small, tiny, insignificant. … [Read more...]

Main, mane and Maine

Main is an adjective which means the thing of principal importance, central. Main may be used as a noun to refer to the principal pipe or cable carrying utilities such as water, gas or electricity, to a building. In British English, these pipes are called the mains. Archaically, main means the open ocean. The word main comes into use in the early thirteenth century to mean large, bulky, strong, from the Old English maegen meaning power, strength, force. By the fifteenth century, main also meant … [Read more...]


MacGyver means to make an object or repair an item with only the items at hand. When something has been MacGyvered it has been thrown together in an ingenious and improvised fashion. MacGyver is a new word in the Oxford English Dictionary, it is a transitive verb which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are MacGyvers, MacGyvered, MacGyvering and MacGyverism. MacGyvered may also be used as an adjective. The Urban Dictionary defines MacGyver as "..us[ing] a dorito, some duct tape, and a … [Read more...]


Misspell means to spell a word incorrectly. Misspell is a transitive verb, it takes an object. Related verb forms are misspells and misspelling. The American past tense and past participle is misspelled, the British past tense and past participle is misspelt or misspelled. Misspell first appears in the middle of the seventeenth century. Ironically, misspell is one of the top one hundred most often misspelled words in the English language, usually misspelled with a single "s". Remember, misspell … [Read more...]

Magic bullet and silver bullet

A silver bullet is a magical solution to a confusing problem. Silver bullets have long had the reputation of  being the only ammunition that can kill a werewolf, since the eighteenth century. In 1933, The Lone Ranger, a fictional masked Texas Ranger who roamed the Old West with his faithful friend, Tonto, debuted on American radio. His bullets were made of silver, Silver was his horse's name, also. Michael Briggs found that silver bullets are actually slower and less accurate than traditional … [Read more...]

Mobilize vs mobilise

Mobilize means to organize people and forces in pursuit of a particular objective. Mobilize often refers to organizing in the face of an emergency or war. Mobilize also means to literally render something mobile, to make something capable of movement. Mobilize is a transitive verb, which means it takes an object. Mobilize is the North American spelling, related words are mobilizes, mobilized, mobilizing, mobilizable, mobilizer and mobilization. Mobilise is an accepted British spelling. … [Read more...]

Moat vs mote

A moat is a broad, deep ditch that is dug around a castle or other fortress as a defense against attack. Usually, a moat is filled with water. Moat may also be used as a transitive verb, meaning to surround something in the fashion of a moat. Castles or other fortresses that are surrounded by moats usually have a drawbridge that is lowered to allow friendly visitors to cross the moat and go inside. Moat comes from the fourteenth century Old French word mote, meaning mound, hillock, embankment, … [Read more...]

May be or maybe

May be designates a possibility. When written as two separate words, may be is used as a verb. If you can substitute the words could be or might be in your sentence, then you are using may be as a verb and it should be written as two separate words. Maybe is an adverb which means possibly or perhaps. If you can substitute the word perhaps in your sentence, then you are using maybe as an adverb and it should be written as one word. Examples Ted Cruz’s book royalties may be higher than … [Read more...]

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