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Caught between words?

Don't be confused! Learn how to make the right choice.
marital/ martial

Marital and martial look almost alike, but the only time they overlap is when you declare war on your spouse. Marital has to do with marriage, and martial is concerned with fighting. Continue reading...

precedent/ president

How has the United States affected this word pair, precedent and president? Let's find out. Continue reading...

epitaph/ epithet

An epitaph is written on a tombstone. An epithet is a nickname or a description of someone. Halloween graves often combine them: “Here lies Fearsome Frank, who bet that he could rob a bank. Continue reading...

appraise/ apprise

To appraise is to estimate the value of something, but remove the second “a,” and you have apprise, which means “to tell.” If you hire someone to appraise your house, you might have to apprise your family of the fact that you now owe the bank more than your house is worth. Continue reading...

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FEATURED WORD

finagle

When you finagle, you get out of something using devious methods, like when you pretend you're sick to avoid taking a pop quiz.

Finagle is a word with a usually negative connotation, as it means to get something by being dishonest or tricking someone. To get a student discount from a bookstore by pretending you're a student is to finagle the store clerk. Finagle might also mean to get your way by being clever, as when you convince your sister that what she really wants for her birthday is that video game you've been dreaming of for months.