Mom vs mom

Capitalization is required for proper nouns, such as names, but sometimes words can be proper nouns or common nouns. Family titles, such as mom and dad, fit into this category. The general rule is to capitalize a family name when it is used as a name, and not to capitalize when it is a common noun. A good tip is to look if there is a pronoun or article (e.g., the, your, his, etc.) preceding the title. If an article or pronoun is there, don't capitalize (e.g., your mother is pretty). If there … [Read more...]

Matrix

Matrix has many meanings. It can be a pattern created by lines crossing to make spaces. It can be a surrounding structure in which something develops. This can be a set of conditions, a situation, or an actual structure. A matrix is also a diagram showing the line of command in an organization. Another definition of matrix is a mold in which something is cast. In Mathematics it is chart of values that is treated as one entity and has certain rules. The plural form of matrix can … [Read more...]

Moose vs. mooses

A moose is a large animal with antlers that is found in the northern forests of America, Europe, and Asia. Its plural is moose, not mooses. Though Mooses is a surname. Examples Moose are less likely to move from the road than deer, so drivers are advised to brake when they see a moose in or near the road. Their long legs and top-heavy bodies make moose very dangerous to motorists when struck. [Boston Herald] It was a taste of things to come, as Northern Ontario is famed for its natural … [Read more...]

Moratorium

ngram moratorium

To put a moratorium on something means to ban or prohibit it temporarily. In legal language it also means to authorize a delay in payment of a debt. History The word was coined in the late 19th century with its legal definition. It comes from the Latin verb moratorius 'delaying', and was written in italics for almost 50 years before being adopted as a fully English word. Over time it gained the more common use meaning. See the ngram below to track moratorium's rise and fall of … [Read more...]

Monied vs. Moneyed

Moneyed and monied mean having or coming from money. Either spelling is correct and each has had a period of popularity. Currently moneyed is in favor. Examples It emerged as a city of stark inequality, with large malls seemingly teleported from Miami and gated communities climbing the hills for the doctors, lawyers and engineers catering to the moneyed class. [New York Times] The three-week-long Verbier Festival, which runs from July until August 3, draws the moneyed elites and big … [Read more...]

Minks vs. minx

A mink is a weasel-like carnivore native to North America, known for its lustrous fur. The plural form is minks. A minx is a promiscuous, impudent, or flirtatious young woman who causes trouble. The term carries a sexist connotation.  Examples The American mink was first introduced to Scotland in 1938 for fur farming, but their escape and deliberate release have left native species at risk. [Scotsman] There, prosecutors allege, the men released 2,000 minks from their cages and took … [Read more...]

Mcjob

A McJob is a low-paying job that requires little to no education and has no opportunity of advancement. It may also refer to a position filled by someone who is extremely overqualified. History In 1983 McDonald's coined the term McJob to promote a program they had designed to help affirmative action for disabled employees. However, the term was quickly redefined into its current definition. It was a buzzword of the 90's in the United States and used by many to detail the economic shift toward … [Read more...]

Machine gun vs. machine-gun

Machine gun is a noun phrase that is defined as a weapon that fires bullets rapidly as long as the trigger is held down. When hyphenated, as machine-gun, the word becomes an adjective used to describe things that happen very quickly. Machine-gun can also be a verb, to shoot something with a machine gun. However, in practice, the common spelling is machine gun for both verb and adjective forms.   Examples A policewoman was under investigation today after her machine gun went off … [Read more...]

Machiavellian

Machiavellian is an adjective used to describe conduct that is clever and dishonest, usually within politics. It can also describe a setting where people might use cunning and trickery to obtain a goal, such as a battle or election. History Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat and writer of political science. His most famous work was published in 1532, The Prince, in which he describes the immoral behavior of powerful men as acceptable or even encouraged. The word Machiavellian grew in … [Read more...]

Manner vs. manor

A manner is (1) a way of doing something, (2) a bearing or demeanor, and (3) a type. The plural form, manners, refers to a manner of behavior considered to be social correct. Constructions involving manner can often be shortened to single adverbs. For example, in a calm manner and in a public manner can give way to calmly and publicly. Some such phrases lack one-word equivalents, however---e.g., in a timely manner. A manor is (1) the estate of a European lord, or (2) the main house of a … [Read more...]

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