An anecdote is a funny little story; an antidote counteracts poison. Tell someone an anecdote about your close encounter with a rattlesnake and how the cute park ranger had to get you the antidote for snake venom right away.

An anecdote is a story someone tells about themselves or people they know. It's often short and unreliable. That rattlesnake encounter? Well, maybe you embellished a bit — you saw a rattlesnake, but it didn't bite you. Anecdotes can be true or false; they're revealing little tales:

All the little anecdotes I had heard of him pleased me very much. (Miranda Eliot Swan)

The pages are thick with freaky anecdotes: One patient suffers permanent brain damage after an anesthesiologist causes him to nearly suffocate. (Washington Post)

Mr. Smith offered only anecdotes to back his beliefs. (New York Times)

An antidote cures what ails you. It's an actual counteragent to a poison, like snake venom. It's what you need if your wife tries to kill you, like poor Wang below, or when you just need to turn that frown upside down:

Then he told the physician there was only one way to save Wang's life — an antidote called Prussian Blue.  (Daily

Forced blossoms are an antidote to the gloomy winter months (

An anecdote is a memoir sound bite, a little story. They're fun, but they don't change your destiny. But antidote, is anti-poison, so dote on situations that require antidotes — your life may be on the line.