Quick entries: R

  • Note: Many of the entries here will eventually become full-length posts. Some are rough and have not been fully researched. If you have any corrections or would like to add anything, please comment.


    Radios: not radioes.

    Rainwater: The one-word spelling is accepted, but it is commonly spelled rain water.

    Rancor vs. rancour: rancor in American English; rancour everywhere else.

    Randomise vs. randomize: In the U.S. and Canada, it’s randomizerandomizedrandomizingrandomization, etc. Outside North America, it’s randomiserandomisedrandomisingrandomisation, etc.

    Razzmatazz: a complex play or maneuver meant to confuse an opponent.

    Read vs. red: The verb read is uninflected in the past tense and as a participle. Red is a color.

    Receipt vs. reception: One definition of receipt is the act of receiving. Receipt is more commonly used in this sense than is reception, which bears that definition but usually means a social function serving as a welcome or a greeting.

    Recognise vs. recognize: American and Canadian English: recognize, recognized, recognizing, recognizable, etc. Outside North America: recognise, recognised, recognising, recognisable, etc.

    Reconnoiter: to make a preliminary inspection, especially in preparation for a military maneuver. It’s the verb corresponding to reconnaissance.

    Redneck: a white, rural, conservative, bigoted American. The term is potentially offensive when used to describe other people, though some Americans proudly self-apply it.


    Redoubt: a small, temporary fortification.

    Rejig vs. rejigger: Both mean to rearrange or adjustRejig is preferred outside North America. Both are used, about equally often, in the U.S.

    Rend, rent: The verb rend makes rent in the past tense (e.g., After reading the letter, he rent it into tiny pieces.) and as a participle (e.g., But he immediately regretted it, and tried to tape the rent letter back together.)

    Renege: to fail to carry out a promise. From the Latin renegare, meaning to deny. There is no nege.

    Repertoire vs repertory: They are interchangeable.

    Repetition vs. repetitiveness: Repetition is the act of repeating. Repetitiveness is the quality of being repetitive, which often has negative connotations (a repetitive thing repeats tediously).

    Resistant: resistent is a misspelling.

    Resolve vs. solve: Resolve: (1) to decide; (2) to find a solution; (3) to bring to a successful conclusion. Solve: to find a solution. Resolve in its second sense is synonymous with solve.

    Restive: sounds like it should mean restful, but actually means restless or uneasy, especially under restriction.

    Rigmarole: (1) nonsense; (2) a confusing, complicated process.


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