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No, this isn’t the dance where you try to squeeze under a pole by leaning backwards, this limbo refers to an imaginary place for lost or forgotten things. It’s where your socks go when you lose them in the dryer.

Limbo is originally a Roman Catholic term used to describe a place for infants who die before baptism. In common speech limbo can be used in much the same way as “gray area.” It’s a place where nothing is clear or certain. When the law isn’t clear on a specific issue, then that issue is in “legal limbo.” If there is an election that is so close that no one knows who won, that’s “political limbo.”

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

didactic/ pedantic

Both words relate to teaching, but didactic teaches a lesson and pedantic just shows off the facts.

pragmatic/ dogmatic

If you're pragmatic, you're practical. You're living in the real world, wearing comfortable shoes. If you're dogmatic, you follow the rules. You're living in the world you want, and acting a little stuck up about it.

parody/ parity

They're different, but when these words are said out loud it's hard to tell them apart. A parody is a silly spoof and parity is equality, and that's no joke.

introvert/ extrovert

These two personality types are opposites — introverts focus inward, into their own thoughts, and extroverts focus outward, into the world. But don't get too excited; most people are a little bit of both. read more...

gibe/ jibe

To gibe is to sneer or heckle, but to jibe is to agree. Funny thing is, though, jibe is an alternate spelling of gibe, so surprise! People get them mixed up. read more...

flair/ flare

Flair is a talent for something, like what the pro-wrestler Nature Boy Ric Flair had back in the day. Flare is on a candle or the shape of bell-bottoms that kids rocked back in the heyday of wrastlin’. read more...

See all Choose Your Words articles »
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