Word Facts

  1. What’s the Difference Between “Sushi” vs. “Sashimi”?

    For anyone who isn’t an adventurous eater, words like sushi, and especially sashimi, might be intimidating. However, these are not only easy words to pronounce (they’re entirely phonetic), but they’re also incredibly specific and therefore difficult to confuse. Both sushi and sashimi are specific kinds of Japanese foods involving raw fish, but we’re going to break them down a little more specifically so that you …

  2. What Is The Difference Between “Amid” vs. “Amidst”?

    There’s amid. Then there’s amidst. Can they be used in the same way or are there important differences between them? Is one considered more correct? Hey, we get it. The English language is hard! But amid this jumble of words and amidst that mess of meaning, we’re here to help clear things up. What does amid mean? Amid is a preposition, a type of word …

  3. Cyclone vs. Typhoon vs. Hurricane: Are They All The Same?

    Are hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons distinct meteorological phenomena, or just different names for the same horrible type of storm? Cyclones explained Let’s start with?cyclone, since it has the?clearest and most precise definition of the three. A cyclone is “a large-scale, atmospheric wind-and-pressure system characterized by low pressure at its center and by circular wind motion.” ?Cyclones spin “counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the …

  4. Is The Coronavirus A Plague?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com Most of us have never lived through a pandemic like the coronavirus before, but we have heard or learned about them, from the Spanish flu to, more notoriously, the plague, like the Black Death. And perhaps, as you’ve followed the news or talked to people about COVID-19, you have even heard the coronavirus called a “plague.” No, …

  5. What Is The Difference Between “Furlough” vs. “Layoff”?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com The coronavirus pandemic isn’t only affecting people’s health and safety. It is also impacting people’s livelihoods as the virus hits the economy. Cancellations, quarantines, and social distancing are causing many companies to furlough or lay off employees—and in some instances, both.? But what is the difference between furlough and layoff? For health, safety, and medical emergencies or …

  6. What Is The Difference Between A “Respirator” And A “Ventilator”?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com During the coronavirus break, you may have heard that hospital and healthcare providers have faced a shortage of respirators and ventilators, two critical tools in fighting the infection. Now, many of us know that both respirators and ventilators deal with breathing in some way, but may be confused about the difference between them. Are they both just …

  7. What’s the Difference Between “Allude” vs. “Elude”?

    What’s the deal with these two useful words? With only a two-letter difference, it can seem at first that spelling may be the only distinction between them. But, of course, you know us … and we wouldn’t be here talking about these two words if there weren’t more differences between them. So how can we more easily tell the difference between these two? Luckily for …

  8. “Amicable” vs. “Amiable”

    The words amicable and amiable are sort of like fraternal twins. They certainly have a lot in common, but upon a closer look, there are differences that truly set them apart. Admittedly though, spotting the differences between amicable and amiable?even gave us pause. First, they practically look the same and sound the same, so it is easy to understand how one could mix them up. …

  9. What’s the Difference Between “Afflict” vs. “Inflict”?

    Chances are that, during times of … let’s say biological outbreak, you’re bound to hear the words afflicted, affliction, and inflict or inflicted used a lot—and to varying degrees of accuracy. It’s OK, this is normal: the English language is particularly confusing when it comes to usage of words that share a similar element. In this case, it’s –flict, ultimately based on the Latin verb …

  10. Is It “St. Patrick’s Day” Or “St. Patricks Day”?

    Celebrated every March 17 (or sometimes the weekend before, the weekend after, or … actually, throughout the entire month of March), St. Patrick’s Day is the day people around the world celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Although the celebrations we see today—which often include parades, pub crawls, and corn beef and cabbage—have little to do with the original feasts that took place …

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