Tag Archives: language

Word Nerd: Duel Identity

Word Nerd: Duel Identity

In a recent conversation on Facebook, I saw someone discussing the current presidential campaign, in which he referred to the fact that Ted Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother is an American, and therefore Cruz has “duel citizenship.” Naturally a Word Nerd installment was called for. Dual and duel. Read More

Word Nerd: A Tint of Rogue

Word Nerd: A Tint of Rogue

Today we have another one of those word pairs that gets mixed up more often than one might expect, and the mix-up seems to only go one way. “Vogue” rhymes with “rogue” and both are spelled with the same ending, but nobody ever spells it “vouge.” I suspect people see “rouge” and read it as “rogue.” Read More

Word Nerd: It’s Inflammable!

Word Nerd: It’s Inflammable!

Every so often, somebody will email me about words and meanings. Sometimes it’s a suggestion for words that they’ve seen misused (most recently, invasive when evasive was meant), sometimes it’s a question. Recently, my friend Sara Mallory sent a Facebook message asking about today’s words. What’s the difference between them? Read More

Word Nerd: Guilty Conscious

Word Nerd: Guilty Conscious

This week’s Word Nerd is one of those that actually surprised me; I thought that because the two are relatively harder to spell than most of our frequently-confused words, fewer people would mess them up. Of course, the fact that they evolved from different conjugations of the same Latin word may have something to do with the confusion. Read More

Word Nerd: Heroine Overdose

Word Nerd: Heroine Overdose

This week’s Word Nerd is another that I’ve seen recently on Facebook, and it may be yet another autocorrect failure; perhaps your iPhone would prefer you discuss Wonder Woman rather than narcotics. It’s an example of that old nemesis, the silent e. Heroin and heroine. Read More

Word Nerd: I’m a Looser.

Word Nerd: I’m a Looser.

We’re back! And with three different illustrations this week. Here’s another one of those words that a lot of people get wrong simply because spellcheck doesn’t catch it, and it’s another of those in which the mistake typically only goes one way. People often write loose when they mean lose, but I’ve never seen anyone write lose when they meant loose. Read More

Word Nerd: Flushing Out

Word Nerd: Flushing Out

Today’s Word Nerd is one of those cases where two very similar phrases exist, and because of being misheard, the wrong one gets used. Yes, it’s a mondegreen. Like “for all intensive purposes” or “all the sudden” (and please don’t ever say either of those), “flush out” crops up where it makes no sense, due to people having misheard “flesh out.” Read More

Word Nerd Index

Word Nerd Index

This week marks the one year anniversary of the Word Nerd feature, and it finally occurred to me (after a few people emailed suggesting words I’d already done) that there really ought to be an index, so that those who are interested can find previous installments. So here it is. New installments will be added to the list as they are posted. Read More