Word Facts

  1. Funny Words You Probably Don’t Know

  2. “Emotional Support Animal” vs. “Therapy Animal” vs. “Service Animal”: The Differences Matter

    This September, we released our biggest update to the dictionary ever. Our dictionary editors touched over 15,000 entries in a sweeping effort to reflect the many ways language is evolving. From capitalizing Black to adding a separate entry for Pride to revising references to suicide, our update addresses topics that touch us on some of our most personal levels: race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, …

  3. “Street Art” vs. “Graffiti”: What’s The Difference?

    Now more than ever before, public art is on the rise. New murals crop up in cities, large and small, on what feels like an everyday basis, each one breathing new, vibrant life into the streets that were once blank canvases for creativity. The terms graffiti and street art have long been used interchangeably to describe these public art installations—but what should we really call …

  4. Where Did The Phrase “Thirty Days Hath September …” Come From?

    Just about every elementary schooler learns the months of the year with an easy rhyme: “Thirty days has [or hath] September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, except February …” How exactly does it end??That depends on how you learned the poem, but one common version goes: “All the rest have 31 /?But February’s 28 / The leap year, which comes once …

  5. “Have” vs. “Has”: When To Use Each One

    Have and has are different forms of the verb to have. Even though they come from the same word, there are slight differences in the way they’re used. While the verb to have has many different meanings, its primary meaning is “to possess, own, hold for use, or contain.” Have?and?has indicate possession in the present tense (describing events that are currently happening). Have is used …

  6. The Holy Reason We Say “Goodbye” And What To Say Instead

    “So long, farewell …” This catchy tune from The Sound of Music is just one of many artistic reflections throughout the years on the ways we say goodbye. And it’s no wonder this parting word and its synonyms have been the subject of much rumination over the years as saying goodbye has become an integral part of our interactions with people, places, and things.? We …

  7. “Asynchronous” vs. “Synchronous”: Time To Learn The Difference

    Instead of going back into the classroom during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, many students transitioned to virtual learning—but this doesn’t mean that all of their classes were held live over video. Some students were able to start the day on their own terms and work through assignments at their own speed. Does this mean their teachers were participating in asynchronous learning, or were these students …

  8. What Character Was Removed From The Alphabet?

    Johnson & Johnson, Barnes & Noble, Dolce & Gabbana: the ampersand today is used primarily in business names, but that small character was actually once the 27th?member of the alphabet.?Where did it come from though? The origin of its name is almost as bizarre as the name itself. Where did ampersand come from? The shape of the character (&) predates the word ampersand by more …

  9. “Strike” vs. “Boycott”: What’s The Difference In Their Demands?

    When Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man in Wisconsin, was shot several times in the back by police in late August 2020, the Milwaukee Bucks took a major stand. In an unprecedented move, this NBA team declared they would not be participating in their playoff game. But instead of playing basketball, was this team going on strike in solidarity of the social movement Black Lives …

  10. “Use To” vs. “Used To”: What’s The Difference?

    Remember as kids when we used to look forward to summer break every year? Unfortunately as we get older, we don’t have this mandated chunk of time off from work every year. But did we use to count down the days until school was out? Or did we used to look forward to the last day of school each year? Despite the minor difference—literally just …

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