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...]

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...]

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