Word comparisons

This category contains 78 posts

Note 328 – Is the floor inside and the ground outside?

A work colleague asked me if I’d written a blog about the difference between floor and ground (which I hadn’t up to now). We discussed that the word floor possibly meant inside and the word ground referred to outside. I wasn’t expecting to find anything relevant or even interesting on the internet about this difference; … Continue reading

Note 315 – The difference between disc and disk

I’ve often wondered why compact disc has a ‘c’, but then other disks have a ‘k’ in British English. Wikipedia have a section on spelling of disc and explain that although they both relate to things of a thin circular nature, there is a difference which relates to the origin of the words. The spelling … Continue reading

Note 311 – Travelling v traveling

I went travelling 10 years ago today (for 8 months); how my life has changed since then. When writing something about this on Facebook earlier, the word travelling corrected itself to traveling, so this was yet another word I had to look up today to check the spelling. As suspected, travelling is the British English way … Continue reading

Note 310 – Comparing sulphate and sulfate

If you read yesterday’s post (the word verdigris), you will have noticed that I included a quote from where they used the word sulfate. Thinking they had spelled* it wrong (*or spelt in British English), I googled it and lo and behold sulfate is the American Way of spelling it (I must learn to … Continue reading

Note 305 – Lo and behold v Low and behold

The correct phrase is lo and behold; however, I felt it necessary to make a note about it today because I actually spelled it low and behold in my blog yesterday (all corrected now) and wanted to make sure I don’t make that mistake again!  After a bit of googling though, it appears that it’s a common error.  … Continue reading

Note 287 – Comparing complement and compliment

Complement and compliment can be used as either nouns or verbs. On Wikipedia, the word compliment is defined as “An expression of praise, congratulation or encouragement”. It is not to be confused with complement which means “to complete, to bring to perfection, to make whole” (source: Notice how the following two sentences are different: … Continue reading

Note 281 – Do you say vicious circle or vicious cycle?

Having always used the expression vicious circle, I was confused when I heard vicious cycle mentioned on an audio programme the other day.  After some research I have found that both are used, although vicious circle is preferred.  Here are a few notes: Cambridge Dictionaries online define vicious circle as “a continuing unpleasant situation, created when … Continue reading

Note 279 – Comparing centre and center

I would always have said that the main difference between the spellings centre and center is that the former is British English and the latter is American English; however, I have learnt today that there are some variations to this rule.  Difference explains that countries such as Canada and India “have adopted the British system of spelling” and therefore spell it … Continue reading

Note 278 – Confusion with the words sat, seated and sitting

“Is this a case of regional variation taking over?” said a work colleague when reading the following paragraph in the Metro newspaper: “A child can now be at greater risk sat in their bedroom on their computer than outside the school gates.” (Source: London Metro, 31 Jan 2012.  Article: More at risk online than outside) … Continue reading

Note 275 – Dos-à-dos, dosado and do-si-do

Dos-à-dos is French for ‘back-to-back’.  Although I seem to remember this as a dance step from my younger days, I wasn’t entirely sure of the spelling – I probably would have said that it was spelled do-si-do or something similar.  According to Wikipedia, dosado (a corrupted spelling of dos-à-dos) is a basic dance move, that can also be known as do-sa-do, do-si-do or … Continue reading

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