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Caught between words?

Don't be confused! Learn how to make the right choice.
ingenious/ ingenuous

Ingenuous means innocent, artless, simple, while ingenious refers to something original, creative, inventive. Continue reading...

hoard/ horde

To hoard is to squirrel stuff away, like gold bricks or candy wrappers. A horde is a crowd of people, usually, but it can also be a gang of mosquitoes, robots, or rabid zombie kittens. Continue reading...

figuratively/ literally

Figuratively means metaphorically, and literally describes something that actually happened. If you say that a guitar solo literally blew your head off, your head should not be attached to your body. Continue reading...

indeterminate/ indeterminable

Understanding the nuances of this word pair, indeterminate and indeterminable, hinges on understanding the words' parts. The root word, determine, means to establish something. Continue reading...

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FEATURED WORD

herd

A herd is a bunch of animals, or — people who act like a bunch of animals. It's also a verb — when people herd animals, they try to keep them moving in the same direction.

A herd usually refers to a group of animals with hooves, like cows or sheep (meat-eating animals like wolves cruise around in packs). On a farm, sheepdogs are in charge of herding the herd of sheep. Herds of buffalo roam the plains. It's rarely a good thing when people act like a herd, which is to do what everyone else is doing. You might want "to break away from the herd" if everyone is wearing pinwheel hats, for example. If you're having trouble getting people together, you might say it's like "herding cats." Cats never follow directions.