Tag: noun

male and female animals

What are the names for male and female animals?

We previously looked at the names for specific baby animals, so now it’s time to turn our attention to words for male and female animals. Explore the list below to discover the names for a female hedgehog, a male swan, and many others. animal female male ant queen / worker drone antelope doe buck bear […]

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back-formations

The hypocrisy of hating back-formations

Does the verb incent make you grind your teeth? Can you cope with enthuse? Does spectate rankle? There are plenty of purported language purists in the world with a professed distaste for back-formations; those who would much rather provide with an incentive, express enthusiasm, and be a spectator. Do they have a point? What is […]

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nouns

Quiz: know your nouns

How well do you know nouns? Here’s a quick quiz to see whether you can identify count nouns, mass nouns, proper nouns, verbal nouns, and every other type of noun under the sun. Find out more about nouns.  

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Into or in to? Learn the rules of splitting them up or keeping them together.

Into or in to

A horse walks into a bar. The barman comes up and says ‘Why the long face?’ I’m rather fond of all those ‘A man/horse/alien etc. walks into a bar’ jokes, aren’t you? Some are particularly amusing, such as the following one, which fellow language-lovers should appreciate: Past, present, and future walked into a bar – […]

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Advise or advice? Which one would you advise?

Advise or advice?

What’s the difference between advise and advice? Do you know? Does it matter? Well, yes, it does, because apart from the obvious fact that one has the ending -ise and the other -ice, there’s a highly significant distinction: one’s a verb and one’s a noun. These grammatical and spelling differences involve a related semantic one […]

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Meddle or medal

Meddling with nouns: who’s medalling now?

Back in 2012, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) saw a massive spike in searches for the verb ‘medal’.  Searches for ‘medal’ on our OxfordDictionaries.com also increased dramatically at the end of July and remained high for two weeks. The reason? The 2012 Summer Olympics, of course!   The verbs medal and podium attracted a lot of scrutiny, although neither word […]

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