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Might vs mite

  • The words might and mite are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing. Pronunciation may change, even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. We will examine the definitions of the words might and mite, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    Might may be used as a noun or a verb. As a verb, might is the past tense of may, and could mean the possibility that something may happen, a possibility based on an unfilled action, a polite request for permission, or the possibility expressed in a suggestion. When might is used as a noun, it means strength or power. The word might used as a verb is derived from the Old English words mihte and meahte. The noun might is derived from the Old English word miht.

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    A mite is a tiny insect that is related to ticks, but ticks are not considered mites. Mites are members of the arachnid family, which includes spiders. A mite belongs to the acari subclass and is an insect that is very small or even microscopic, though its bite may cause itching and spread disease. Some mites are simply a nuisance, but others carry diseases such as rickettsialpox and scrub typhus. Most often, this insect causes one to feel itchy. When a mite comes into contact with human skin it may trigger a rash or dermatitis that will itch for some time. House dust mites are the most common type of these insects. For most people, the dust mite is harmless. However, those who are allergic to these bugs may have a severe reaction. Some people with asthma may have an asthma attack. Many types of mites cause intense itching, including chiggers, clover mites, flour mites, red mites, spider mites, bird mites which are often found in bird nests, and scabies. Mite bites are usually temporary and treatments include calamine lotion or cortisone ointments. However, the scabies mite will burrow into one’s skin and lay eggs. It is treated with special prescription cream. Pets are also susceptible to these pests. Controlling a mite infestation involves washing pillows, bedding and clothing. Vacuuming one’s carpeting and mattresses is sometimes sufficient to get rid of the parasite, though some of the insects may survive and must be eradicated with pesticide. The word mite is derived from the Germanic word miton.

    Examples

    But I worry that if the movies had been made today instead of in the 1990s, they might be sanitized in favor of political correctness. (The Washington Examiner)

    Although electronics, such as laptop computers, contain some metal, it might not be enough to prompt a payment from the local recycling company. (The Journal Gazette)

    Might I ask politely, dear storytellers, what explicit depictions of creative sexual adventures below the equator add to our understanding of these ladies and their role in history? (The Helena Independent Record)

    I braved fast-moving crowds of clueless tourists and hot-headed locals to stand in long lines and try to stay upright, gripping my poles with all my might. (The Colorado Springs Gazette)

    The river never rose as high as meteorologists at the National Weather in Pittsburgh thought it might, and no one suffered serious injuries or died from flooding in the local region in 2018. (The Wheeling News Register)

    Her research interests include biological control, spider mite management, landscape ecology, and soil health impacts on insects. (Entomology Today)

    “During lunch service on Sept. 4, 2018, we had an incident at Madisonville Middle School where flour mites were discovered in a bag of granola that was still sealed in original packaging and had just been opened at lunch, ” according to a written statement from Director of Schools Tim Blankenship. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)


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