Once again, we will discuss the common case of English homophones confusing writers. The words "breach" and "breech" are on today's list of some of the most confusing homophones. These words are so often confused that many people may even accidentally switch up their definitions with each other.  One reason why knowing...
There are many cases in English where words have a similar meaning or related origins, but what about a similar pronunciation? “Deprecate” and “depreciate” are common English words with Latin origins, which often cause writers and readers to mix them up!  What Does “Depreciate” Mean?  “Depreciate” is a word that comes from the Latin roots...
What Do "Bail" And "Bale" Mean?  "Bail" and "bale" are two words that commonly confuse English speakers. This is because they are homophones. In other words, they sound the same when spoken. However, they have different meanings.  "Bail" can be a noun to refer to the money required to release someone from police custody temporarily....
Let's explore fiancée vs. fiancé.  To start, some definitions: Definition of Fiancé : a man engaged to be married Definition of Fiancée : a woman to whom someone is engaged to be married. The History of Affidavit, Affiance, & Fiancé An affidavit refers to a written promise. Its Latin roots tie it to a different type of promise...
Both acknowledgment and acknowledgement emerge throughout the English-speaking world, but acknowledgment, with no middle e, is favored in American English, while acknowledgement is favored outside North America. These preferences spread to the plural forms, acknowledgements and acknowledgments also. In the United States and Canada, acknowledgement appears roughly once for every two instances of acknowledgment. The proportion is the other way around in British and Australian publications,...
Have you ever considered adding a bit of flavor to your writing and thought to yourself, "can I use 'whilst' here, or do I have to use 'while'?" While and whilst are two words that generally have identical definitions. However, that isn't always the case; therefore, you can't always use whilst rather than while. Generally,...
The expression free rein stemmed from horseback riding. The rider holds the reins, leather straps connected to a metal bit in the horse's mouth, and handles the horse by pulling on the straps differently. When you give a horse free rein, you'll hold the reins loosely so the animal can wander where it wants....
Peak, Peek, and Pique: What is the Difference? Years ago, there was an account on Twitter that automatically responded when people spelled ‘sneak peek’ as ‘sneak peak’. I’m kind of disappointed that it no longer exists (changing the world, one spelling tweet at a time is right up my streat…...
English can be a pretty versatile language. With the ability to write a given sentence in various ways, it can be hard to know which is grammatically correct. For example, if you find a sale that reduces the price of something, should you say that there is a “discount...
Are There Differences Between “Fast” And “Quick?”  Is there a difference between fast and quick? In the English language, “fast” and “quick” are adjectives used to describe fast-moving things. Usually, they are used interchangeably with little consequence. However, they cannot always act as synonyms. In general, “fast” should describe things that are high in speed, whereas “quick” describes something that happens...