About seven hundred years ago, the word affinity meant "relation by marriage." By extension, the correct use of affinity concerns mutuality. But that sense of mutual interest is often missing in contemporary uses of affinity, such as these:  "He's always had an affinity for growing tomatoes." "They have an affinity for vintage clothes." "My aunt...
There is a lot of debate between whether it is correct to use none is, or none are. When you understand these phrases, then you can use them correctly. There is one main issue that causes a lot of confusion: None Can Be Both Singular and Plural If none is used as a singular, then none are is incorrect....
The word Former  refers to something that is first in the order of two or more items or things. The word Latter refers to something that is either second in a group of two things or the last in a group of many. Some usage guides dictate that you can only...
What does 'A watched pot never boils' mean? 'A watched pot never boils' is a proverb that refers to feeling like time goes slower when you anxiously wait for something to happen. What is the origin of the phrase? 'A watched pot never boils' was coined by Poor Richard, which was the...
The phrase ace in the hole means a resource that is held in reserve until it can be used for an advantage. This idiom refers to a play in stud poker. In this game, a “hole card” refers to a car that is held or kept face down until it...
What does it mean to say there is an elephant in the room? It indicates that there is an obvious problem that is being ignored. In other words, it is a big issue that is not being acknowledged or talked about. Example: John arrived at home with his shirt soaking...
What does “I couldn’t care less” mean, and which is correct, couldn't or could?  If you've said that you couldn’t care less about something, it means that you are not concerned about it at all; it does not matter to you.  Example James says he couldn't care less if he gets...
A Chip Off the Old Block Means: A child who closely resembles a parent, in either physical or mental characteristics. The expression refers to anyone who either physically resembles one or both parents, or has personality traits. This turn of phrase is most commonly used to refer to men who look...
How to Use “As of Yet” “As of yet” is often used to describe something that has not happened yet. Although it is grammatically correct, “as of yet” is often deemed unnecessarily wordy. If you strive for clear writing, you can say “as yet,” or, even better, simply use...
Have you ever come across the acronym AFK and wondered about its meaning? In an age of Teams, Zoom, Slack, and countless other office communication apps, you probably encounter a lot of office acronyms: EOD, BRB, BTW. It’s equally likely that you have stared blankly at some of them,...