Analyses vs analyzes

  Analyze, which is analyse outside the US, means to intently inspect an object or person. This inspection can be with the intent to discover, explain, quantify, or reveal. One can analyze a person, grammar, or any number of fields of study. When someone, outside of the US, inspects something, he or she analyses it. The final syllable is pronounced the same way it is in the US (zehz). An analysis is the process or outcome of analyzing, the process of inspecting something closely to … [Read more...]

Bugbear or bugaboo

A bugbear is something that elicits fear or annoyance from someone. Common synonyms are problem or annoyance. It is spelled as one word. Bugbear is commonly pluralized by adding an s. It was originally an imaginary creature used to make little children afraid. It may be a variant of the word bogey, which does not have an exact origin itself. Between Middle English, Old Scots, German, and Welsh there are many options for where the word came from. Mainly in North America, another … [Read more...]

Collocate

  Collocate is a verb that means to be paired with or arranged side by side. Words can collocate with each other, like peanut butter and jelly. It can be used with or without an object, in other words, can be transitive or intransitive. The word is being used more often these days in business or science. The noun form is collocation and is used mostly for orderings of words or the arrangement of certain words. It also has an adjective form of collocational. Examples “We have to go … [Read more...]

Censer vs censor vs censure vs sensor

  These words are commonly confused and misspelled because their pronunciations can be extremely similar. A censer is an object used to hold incense, usually with holes so the smoke may escape and sometimes on a chain to be swung during religious ceremonies. To censor something is to remove content from media which is deemed to be hurtful or offensive. This is usually governed by a government or ruling body. A censor is someone who censors. A censure (pronounced sen sher) is a … [Read more...]

Nib vs nub

A nib is something small that comes to a point. Originally it was the tip of a quill pen, and now is commonly used to describe the metal piece at the end of an ink-well pen or the tip of any writing instrument. It may also mean a bird's beak or bill. In cooking, a nib is a small piece of a roasted product, like coffee or cocoa beans. It is always used in a compound form, such as, cacao nib or coffee nib. A nub may also mean a tiny piece that projects or sticks out, though not generally … [Read more...]

Renege vs rescind

To renege is to go back on a promise, to make a denial, or revoke something. It is pronounced many different ways. The first syllable may have the long or short e sound. And the (nege) syllable can be /nehg/, /nahg/, or /nig/. A person who reneges is a reneger. It is also used sometimes in board or card games when a player has broken the rules. In the game of euchre, you play cards by suit. If you play a card later, but should have played it earlier in the game, you reneged on the promise … [Read more...]

Sanction

  Sanction is a noun which has two directly opposite meanings, which makes it a auto-antonym or contronym (i.e., a word that can contradict itself). One meaning of sanction is to grant official endorsement or approval for an action. The other meaning is the process taking by the international community against a specific country to force said country to comply with international law. These sanctions can include reducing or restricting trade or economic aid. Outside of international … [Read more...]

Nutriment or nutrition

Nutriment is something that increases growth or sustains life. In medical terminology it may refer to something which causes the healing of human tissue. It is a mass noun without a plural form. While nutriment and nutrition come from the same Latin root word, they are not synonyms. Nutrition is the act of consuming the correct variety of foods and drinks that results in health and growth. The adjective form is nutritional, and the adverb is nutritionally. Examples In effect, mistletoe … [Read more...]

Snobbery or snobbishness

Snobbery is the action of a person who thinks he or she is more important or worthwhile than others. The plural form is snobberies. A person who thinks or acts this way is called a snob. Something can be snobby, snobbier, or the snobbiest. Another adjective form is snobbish. The adverb form is snobbishly. And the back-formation noun from the adjective is snobbishness. So in the end, snobbery and snobbishness are synonyms for the same type of behavior. Examples Mr. Burke said the … [Read more...]

Lei

A lei is a necklace made of flowers. It is a Hawaiian word. A common practice is for Polynesians to give visitors a lei as a gift. The plural form is leis. Lei also as a secondary meaning as the plural form of leu, which is a unit of currency in Romania. Side note: It should be noted that both definitions of this word are homonyms for lay and lays. Examples Set in the heart of the tourist mecca -- amidst the luxury stores and giant hotels -- Aunty Bella's lei stand has been quietly … [Read more...]

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