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Loch vs lock

Loch and lock are two words that are pronounced in the same way when sp0ken aloud but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language, and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones; … [Read more...]

Affinity vs infinity

Affinity and infinity are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, but have very different meanings. Many words in the English language sound similar in spoken conversation, or look similar on the printed page. The successful student of English as a second language will learn the difference between such terms. We will examine the definitions of the words affinity and infinity, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences. Affinity is a special relationship … [Read more...]

Close ranks

Close ranks is an idiom that has been in use since the mid-1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when … [Read more...]

To the bitter end

To the bitter end is an idiom with a disputed etymology. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the … [Read more...]

Head someone off at the pass and cut someone off at the pass

Head someone off at the pass and cut someone off at the pass are idioms that are not as old as you may think. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a … [Read more...]

Follow suit

Follow suit is an idiom that has been in use at least since the early 1800s and comes from a phrase originally used literally. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more … [Read more...]

Bed of roses

Bed of roses is an idiom that has been in use at least since the 1500s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even … [Read more...]

Lick one’s wounds

Lick one's wounds is an idiom that has been in use at least since the 1600s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, … [Read more...]

Dad bod

Dad bod is a new word that entered the lexicon in 2015, and its origin is traced to a particular writer. Dad bod is a compound word, which is a word derived from two separate words used together. New compound words usually consist of two, separate words, and are called open compound words. Midway through their evolution, compound words may acquire hyphens between the two words. When a compound becomes a closed compound word, which consists of two words joined without any hyphen or space, it has … [Read more...]

The lesser of two evils

The term the lesser of two evils has been in use since the 1400s and may be traced to a specific writer, though the concept is probably much older. We will examine the meaning of the phrase the lesser of two evils, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences. The expression the lesser of two evils is used when one is confronted with two choices or alternatives, both of them bad. The lesser of two evils means to choose the alternative that is less bad. The term the lesser of … [Read more...]

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