Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Grammar and Usage
Feb
26

create vs. produce

Both “create” and “produce” have the meaning of making a new thing or bringing a new thing into the world.  One might expect the words to be close synonyms, yet, surprisingly, they do not generally overlap in usage.  The first important difference is…

Feb
10

aesthetic vs. ascetic

aesthetic |es the tik|vs. ascetic | ə se tik| These words have similar pronunciations and spellings, but quite different meanings.  The word “aesthetic” –with the “th” sound in the middle–has to do with beauty, so if you’re talking about beauty or the arts, “aesthetic” is probably the word…

Dec
5

imply vs. infer

imply vs infer

“Imply” and “infer” have a relationship that is similar to the one between “talk” and “listen.”  “Imply” corresponds more closely to the talking side of the relationship, and “infer” corresponds more closely to the listening side. A talker can imply; a listener can…

Nov
15

About the Wordsmyth “Word Combinations” Feature

The Word Combinations feature in Wordsmyth dictionaries displays words that are frequently used in combination with a particular headword. If you looked up “negotiate,” for example, you would be presented with words such as “accord,” “agreement,” “cease-fire,” “compromise,” “contract,” “deal,” “treaty,” and “truce.”…

Nov
7

damp vs. moist

“Damp” and “moist” are words with similar meaning.  They both describe things that contain a small amount of moisture—not so much moisture as to say something is “wet,” but nonetheless an amount that is tangible, an amount that we can physically feel.  Although…